During an annulment, legal separation, divorce, or dissolution of a domestic partnership, the court may issue an order concerning the custody of any minor children that resulted from the relationship. Generally, the court will grant custody of the child to one parent or both parents based on the best interest of the child.
A parent who does not have a child for more than half of the time may be entitled to visitation with the child. Visitation determines the level of contact a parent will have with a child. Visitation may be unsupervised or supervised, depending on whether the non-custodial parent poses a threat to a child's health or well-being. Parents, and in some cases grandparents, believe they have the right to visitation or contact with their children or grandchildren. However, courts can deny access or contact if warranted.
In some cases, parents will agree to share custody and visitation which may or may not be governed by a court order. That said, some children at or around the age of 13, depending on the state they live in, may choose which parent they want to live with. Many jurisdictions and family law professionals now use the term parenting schedule instead of visitation when discussing contact and residence issues.