Visitation, or time-share, is a child custody issue in California. Visitation is typically addressed during a divorce but can also be an issue between two non-married persons who have a child together. Visitation – which type and what it consists of – is outlined in the parenting plan that the parents agree upon or the judge decides upon in lieu of the parents' mutual agreement.
Hoffer Family Law Firm can help you come to a mutual agreement with your ex-spouse about visitation or else will argue your interests and your child's best interests before a judge. Getting visitation right means getting the time you need with your child right. Jeffrey L. Hoffer, respected family law attorney in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, offers his insight, commitment, and resources for this very purpose.
What types of visitation orders are there in California?
Visitation with your child is not automatic in California. The court always intends to decide upon visitation based on the best interests of the child. If visitation would harm a child, someone other than you may have custody of the child.
Further, in California, visitation orders are composed of four basic different types:
- visitation with a schedule
- reasonable visitation
- supervised visitation
- no visitation.
This visitation order is the preferred type of visitation. Having a schedule is the best option for parents, children, and the court. A detailed schedule complete with dates, times, holidays, special occasions, and vacation can help ensure a smooth parenting plan.
When a detailed parenting plan that outlines specific dates and times is not possible, a reasonable visitation order may work best.
This visitation plan allows flexibility for parents who can communicate and work together. It is important to keep in mind, though, that this type of visitation can cause harm to the child if the parents fail to work together and profit from the benefits this open plan is meant to accommodate.
When the safety and well-being of the child are in question, supervised visitation may be necessary. This means a parent can only visit with the child when another adult or professional agency supervises the visit.
Typically, this type of visitation is awarded when a parent has a personal, mental, emotional, or another issue – e.g., drug addiction, past history of abusive behavior. This type of visitation may also be employed when a parent and a child are just getting to know each other – e.g., the parent may have been absent for part of the child's life and now wants to get to know his/her child.
An order that provides for no visitation occurs when it is believed even supervised visitation can harm the child emotionally, mentally, or physically. No visitation is often ordered in cases where there has been domestic violence or physical and/or sexual child abuse.
Who can get visitation with a child?
In California, parents are usually the subject of visitation orders. The make-up of a family has evolved, and with that evolution comes changes to who can ask for visitation. Today, non-parent persons can petition for visitation rights. These non-parent persons are typically:
- grandparent (most often)
- foster parent.
As with visitation for a parent, the court will consider the best interests of the child when considering a non-parent party's visitation rights.
Courts are more willing to grant visitation to a grandparent who has a pre-existing relationship with the child. Keep in mind, however, that Family Code section 3041 creates a legal presumption in favor of parents. If a fit parent does not want the grandparent or another non-parent person to have visitation rights, the court will likely side with the fit parent(s).
Contact a Trusted Visitation Attorney in California Today
If you are seeking custody and visitation rights of your child, contact Thousand Oaks Family Law Firm today. We understand how emotional these matters can be and take steps to make the process as smooth as possible. When it comes to visitation rights, we have years of experience advocating successfully the interests of our clients, and we have the testimonials to show for it.
Contact us at 805-449-4290 or online to schedule an initial consultation today.