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Child Visitation and California Family Law
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For most parents, determining custody and visitation of a child is the most stressful and trying part of the divorce process. If parents are not awarded physical custody of their children, California Family Code guarantees parents reasonable visitation rights unless it is against the best interest of the child. The court may honor visitation to others, such as grandparents’ visitation rights for example, if they play a positive role in the lives of the children and shown to be in their best interests.
Separated parents try to agree on visitation arrangements by creating a parenting plan that outlines how time and decision-making is divided between them. Many co-parents seek out a collaborative mediation process to reduce the stress around a custody battle with the children in mind. If they are not able to agree on a parenting plan, a family law judge will hear the case and the courts will decide for them.
Types of Visitation Orders in Family Law
- Scheduled visitation – Plan outlines in detail the who, what, where, and when for the time children spend with each parent or guardian, often times including special events, holidays, and vacations. Visitation may also include phone calls or video calls.
- Reasonable visitation – Reasonable visitation provides greater flexibility for parents to work together determining time spent with either parent. It carries a higher potential for conflict, especially if parents do not communicate well together.
- Supervised visitation – When visitation is determined to carry risk for the children or parents, or in cases where a parent was estranged for a long period, supervised visitation may be used. Visitation must be supervised by the other parent, a mutually approved person, or a professional agency.
- No visitation – If it is determined that visitation is not in the best interests of a child, as in when there is a risk of domestic violence or abuse, no visitation is used.
Family courts place the best interests of a child front and center when determining what visitation will look like for parents and other parties involved. Courts take into consideration the bond between the child and the party that wishes to gain visitation, any history of domestic violence or substance abuse, whether the parents are able to provide and care for a child, among other considerations.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Family Attorney
Our San Diego family lawyers at Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC focus on delivering representation tailored specifically to clients’ unique situation. We understand your situation, and provide the counsel and support you need to achieve an outcome that is best in line with your goals. If you have questions regarding your unique case, we invite you to speak with a member of our legal team to learn how we can help.
Call our office at (619) 736-3396 for a free phone consultation, or contact us online.
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