No parent wants to endure the devastation of missing out on precious time with their child. At the Law Office of Cherish Om, I understand how important it is to preserve your bond with your kids. As a visitation rights lawyer, I am committed to defending your rights and putting your child’s interests first. Get in touch today to request a consultation.
Divorce and child custody proceedings can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience, especially when minor children are involved. Child-related matters, including fights over custody and visitation rights, can be the most contentious aspect of divorce. As a parent, you should be prepared to defend your rights to ensure that you have as much parenting time as possible after your relationship or marriage ends.
The legal system can be intimidating and overwhelming and you may need the assistance of a visitation rights lawyer to help you navigate the legal landscape and work toward the most favorable resolution possible. At the Law Office of Cherish Om, I understand how precious your children are to you, which is why I am here to provide you with the legal support and guidance you can rely on.
If you need help securing your visitation rights, contact my law firm today to schedule a consultation. As your family law attorney, I will work tirelessly to help you get the outcomes you are hoping for so you can have an active and vital role in your child’s life.
Types of Visitation Arrangements
California courts recognize five types of visitation arrangements, which are also referred to as “parenting time orders”:
- Scheduled. As the name implies, scheduled child visitation means the parties have a set schedule they adhere to. To make this arrangement work, both parents must mutually agree on a structured visitation calendar each year with the dates and times that the child(ren) will spend with each parent. With this structure, parents may have to make some sacrifices (e.g., having a child for Christmas but not being able to spend time with them on their birthday).
- Reasonable. While scheduled visitation involves putting together a detailed and structured plan ahead of time, “reasonable visitation” is the arrangement in which the specifics of visitation are left up to the parents to decide instead of following a fixed order. Since this arrangement is more flexible, it works best for parents who get along well and are able to cooperate.
- Supervised. Courts may order supervised visitation when there are concerns that the child’s health or safety may be threatened when being left unsupervised with the parent. In most cases, supervised visitation is appropriate when there are credible allegations or prior documented instances of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, drug or alcohol dependence, or mental health issues.
- Virtual. Thanks to technological advancements, parents may be allowed to interact with children via video calls and other virtual formats. While virtual visitation can be an alternative to other types of arrangements, including supervised, it is often used to complement in-person visitation.
- No visitation. If a judge is convinced that any form of visitation with the non-custodial parent, even supervised, would be against the child’s best interests due to the potential physical, emotional, or mental harm, they may restrict, or even prohibit, the parent’s time with the children.
California courts award two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to making important decisions for the child, while physical custody deals with the daily caretaking of the child. Both legal and physical custody can be either joint or sole. Joint physical custody means that both parents are entitled to significant periods of parenting time with the child. However, if a parent is not awarded physical custody, they are usually granted visitation rights.
How Visitation Is Determined
Cal. Fam. Code § 3011. In determining what is best for a child, judges consider a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- The age of the child
- Child’s health and safety
- The emotional bonds that currently exist between each parent and the child
- The amount of contact with both parents
- The child’s relationship to home and school
- Each parent’s ability to care for the child
- Each parent’s physical and mental health
- Any history of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, or substance abuse or addiction
All of these aspects can affect your visitation rights. In California, courts are prohibited from refusing a parent’s right to custody or visitation if they were never married (but are the biological parent) or have a physical disability or different sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
Visitation Rights Lawyer FAQs
As a visitation rights lawyer at the Law Office of Cherish Om, I am well-versed in the intricacies of California’s custody and visitation laws and can explain how they apply in your situation. The FAQ section below is for informational purposes only and should be misconstrued as legal advice because everyone’s situation is unique.
- How do I get visitation rights?
If there is already an ongoing family law case involving the child (e.g., stemming from a divorce), a parent can get visitation rights by filing a Request for Order (form FL-300), according to the official website of The Judicial Branch of California. In this form, the parent asks the judge to make a legally binding order about custody and visitation, also known as “parenting time” in the state.
- Do unfit parents have visitation rights?
If there is reason to believe that a child’s health or safety would be at risk when spending time with a parent, a court may evaluate the parent’s fitness or take away custody rights. Custody orders can be changed. When making such an evaluation, judges look for a history of family violence, child abuse/neglect, alcohol/drug abuse or dependence, and serious mental illnesses. Since California courts must make custody and visitation decisions based on what’s best for the child, all of these factors could raise red flags. If a parent is deemed unfit, their parental and visitation rights are usually cut to a bare minimum or, as an alternative, the judge may opt for supervised visitation.
- Can I modify visitation rights?
Either parent can request modifications to the existing parenting time order to modify their visitation rights. However, before granting such a modification request, the court will have to determine whether the requested changes are necessary and proper and if they align with the child’s best interests. To modify an existing order, the requesting party has the burden to prove there has been a “significant change of circumstances” pursuant to California Rules of Court Rule 5.700.
- How can a family lawyer help me?
Navigating child visitation rights and child custody cases requires knowledge of the law and court rules. You do not want to take chances when it comes to your parental/visitation rights and the well-being of your children. As a visitation rights lawyer at the Law Office of Cherish Om, I can explain the law in terms you can understand so you can make informed decisions that work for you and your child. I will customize strategies to your specific situation and help advocate for the desired outcome in your case.
- Can a parent refuse visitation for non-payment of child support?
No, if a parent has visitation rights, the other parent cannot restrict their access to the child just because they do not make child support payments on time or refuse to pay altogether. Custody disputes can be challenging. However, California courts treat child support and visitation rights cases as two separate issues that aren’t dependent on each other. If a parent fails to pay child support, the recipient may need to consider going to court to enforce the support order.
The Law Office Of Cherish Om: Trusted Visitation Rights Lawyer In Watsonville, California
As a visitation rights lawyer, I understand just how important it is for you to be able to spend time with your child and watch them grow. At the Law Office of Cherish Om, I have years of experience representing parents in California in the pursuit of protecting their visitation rights.
As your legal counsel, I can provide the advice and guidance you need to work out a visitation arrangement that works for you, enforce an existing parenting plan if the other parent is keeping children away from you, or help you seek modifications to your existing arrangement. My office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to listen to your concerns, analyze your situation, and advise you on your options under the law.
Do not wait to contact my office and get started on the right path toward a better future for you and your kids. Call now to schedule a consultation