Noncustodial Rights
There are no uniform regulations or laws concerning the rights of noncustodial parents, according to divorce experts.

There are advocacy groups out there and Web sites, but my experience is that its a little more case-by-case or judge-by-judge, says Anthony Wolf, author of Why Did You Have to Get a Divorce? And When Can I Get a Hamster?

Its difficult to predict how a court will rule in such cases because so many factors money, careers, residency come into play, says William Sammons, M.D., a pediatrician who has worked with many families of divorce. We often have very different and difficult-to-comprehend rulings by judges.

Parents who feel wronged need to balance their own wishes with those of their children, advises Wolf. If its really getting in the way of getting together with the kids on a regular basis, you need to contact your lawyer again. But whether its really enough to work it out in the legal system is a decision every parent needs to make. Its incumbent on parents to work out all their issues during the divorce proceedings. A parenting plan should be part of every divorce agreement, says Sammons, who is working with fellow pediatrician Jennifer Lewis to produce a multimedia CD-ROM to help parents design such a strategy. They hope the disc will be available by spring of 2005. For more information, visit

To learn more about divorce laws and visitation rights, visit, for a state-by-state breakdown.

Jim McGaw