fog-79456_640It’s true: if you’re awarded physical custody, your ex doesn’t need to ever take your child away for a week at a time while you worry if she’s eating the right things. However, just because you won primary custody doesn’t mean that you can’t ever let the father of your child see said child. Barring abusive fathers, such as those who do drugs extensively or are physically malicious with your child, most ex-husbands have every right to have some visitation with their own children.

While this is often a hard pill to swallow because divorces are not always the prettiest events and sometimes what would have otherwise been an okay relationship turns sour in court. Even though you may disagree with your ex getting to see your child or children at all, the court may disagree – and they always have the child’s best interests at heart, in the end.

Though your ex’s behavior, attitude or lifestyle may be why you won primary custody of the little ones in court, it’s very difficult for an ex to be so awful that they don’t deserve to see their children. Often, even though you are awarded primary PHYSICAL custody, the father of the child often has joint LEGAL custody and, if they wish for it, a decent amount of visitation. If a man will defend himself and fight for his rights in court, a judge will often look kindly upon that and award him at least partial legal custody and allow him ample visitation rights. Sometimes, if an ex fights hard enough over visitation and custody, physical custody may also become a shared responsibility. It completely depends on how hard your ex is willing to fight to see his kids.

Barring extreme circumstances, a court will never actually “punish” a child’s father by not allowing them visitation rights at all. Extreme circumstances involve dangerous or violent situations, and in these cases, you may also have to file restraining orders and police reports if your ex is to ever come within a certain amount of feet from you or your child. However, most parents – even those who may be unfit for parenthood – deserve to spend time with their children if they wish to have it. Promoting the idea of visitation rights has to do with a child needing both of his or her parents in their life, even if one falls down on the job sometimes. Having an imperfect parent is better than not having a parent at all.

If you’re struggling with the idea of giving up part of your custody or visitation rights to your ex, take heart – you’re not alone. Just keep reminding yourself that shared custody is in the best interests of your child, especially if your child loved both of you equally throughout your marriage. If you believe that the court ruled wrongly, spend some time with a good Bakersfield lawyer collecting evidence in your favor, and take your former spouse back to court. Don’t try to take matters into your own hands, as this is often the easiest way to lose what rights you did own in court. When it doubt, consult a professional.