Visitation is typically addressed during a divorce but also can 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.
Our respected child custody attorneys could help you come to a mutual agreement with your ex-spouse and fight for the best interests of you and your child. Getting these rights means getting the time you need with your child. Our team of Agoura Hills visitation lawyers are ready to protect your parental rights and support the best interests of your family.
Visitation allows the non-custodial parent the opportunity to participate in their children’s upbringing. However, some factors may limit this right. For example, if a parent has a substance abuse problem or a history of violence, parenting time may become restricted, supervised, or prohibited.
Absent these particular circumstances, parents may draft a visitation plan that considers the needs of all parties involved. Some of these considerations may include where each parent lives, where the child attends school, work schedules, holidays, and special events.
In some situations, a custodial parent may want to relocate, perhaps for a job or to be closer to family. In this case, these rights of the non-custodial parents would be affected, and that parent has the right to oppose any move. Relocation cases require evidence from both parents about the proposed move and information about the potential impact on the child and parenting time. Sometimes parents in these situations may create a different plan where, for instance, the child may stay with the non-custodial parent for more extended periods.
In reviewing or accepting a proposed plan, a court determines whether it is in the best interests of the child. This is the first factor parties should consider, and an Agoura Hills lawyer could help a parent focus on this standard when drafting a visitation agreement.
A visitation agreement should be in writing so that it becomes an enforceable contract between parents. Additionally, this plan typically becomes part of the final judgment of divorce and has the effect of a court order. Even with unmarried parents, a written parenting schedule can be filed with a court as part of a general custody order, thereby giving both parents the right of enforcement. There are a few types of visitation arrangements that a lawyer in Agoura Hills could help a parent fight for.
This order is typically 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 may help ensure a smooth parenting plan. If parents cannot agree, the court may create and enforce a visitation schedule.
When a detailed parenting plan that outlines specific dates and times is not possible, a reasonable visitation order may work best. This plan allows flexibility for parents who can communicate and work together. It is important to keep in mind, though, that this type of visitation may 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 supervise the visit.
Typically, this type of visitation is awarded when a parent has a personal, mental, emotional, or another issue – e.g., drug addiction or a history of abusive behavior. This type of visitation also may 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.
An order that provides for no visitation occurs when it is believed even supervised visitation can harm the child emotionally, mentally, or physically. No parenting time is often ordered in cases where there has been domestic violence or physical and/or sexual child abuse.
In Agoura Hills, parents are usually the subject of visitation orders. However, the make-up of a family has evolved, and with that evolution comes changes to who can ask for parenting time. Today, non-parent persons can petition for these rights. These individuals may include:
As with visitation for a parent, the court will consider the best interests of the child when granting or denying visitation for a third-party. Courts are more willing to grant visitation to a grandparent who has a pre-existing relationship with the child. Keep in mind, however, state law creates a legal presumption in favor of parents. If a fit parent does not want the grandparent or another non-parent to have these rights, the court will likely side with the fit parent(s).
We know how hard it can be when you no longer live with your children, and how important it is for a child to have quality time with both parents. If you are separating and contemplating divorce, our team of Agoura Hills visitation lawyers could help you fight for an arrangement that protects your rights. For more information about how we could help you, call today.