Most parents agree on when and where a non-custodial parent will visit their children. Many parents choose to characterize the non-custodial parent's time with the child as "reasonable visitation" and to work out flexible visitation schedules among themselves.

When parents cannot agree about visitation, the judge will set up a definite visitation schedule, taking into consideration such things as the age of the children, the visiting parent's relationship with them, the home conditions of the parent with custody and of the visiting parent, and any special problems of the children such as their physical or emotional health.

Judges feel that children are best off when they are reminded regularly that they have two parents, both of whom care about them. A judge usually will not deny or restrict a parent's right to reasonable visitation unless he finds that the visitation is bad for a child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

In most cases, try to establish regular weekly or alternate weekend and holiday visitation, with a fair sharing of school vacations and holidays.

A non-custodial parent does not lose the right to visit children because of a failure to pay child support, and a custodial parent cannot withhold visitation because the other misses support payments. Both a refusal to allow court-ordered visitation and a failure to pay court-ordered support may result in punishment by a judge.

This information was prepared to give you some general information on the law. It is not intended as legal advice about any particular problem. If you have questions about the law you should consult a lawyer. If you do not know a lawyer, you can call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The number is 799-7100.