California law allows either parent to have full custody of their children, or they can share custody. The judge makes the final decision about custody and visitation, but will typically approve the parenting plan or arrangement that both parents agree on. However, if the parents are unable to come to an agreement, the judge will make the decision for them at a scheduled court hearing. In such cases, the judge generally orders the parents to first meet with a mediator from Family Court Services.
Different Types of Visitation Orders
Visitation, also commonly referred to as “time-share,” refers to the plan parents come up with to share time with their children upon separation or divorce. A parent who has their child less than half the time has visitation rights. Visitation orders differ depending on various factors such as, best interest of the children and situation of parents. Below are some common types of visitation orders:
- Visitation based on schedule: Typically this type of visitation helps parents and children to have a detailed plan to avoid conflict and confusion. It is based on a schedule that details the dates and times that the children will spend with each parent.
- Reasonable visitation: A reasonable visitation order does not necessarily provide details as to when the children will be with each parent. Instead, this type of visitation is open-ended and allows the parents to work it out amongst themselves.
- Supervised visitation: This type of visitation is used when the children’s safety and well-being require that visits with the other parent be supervised by another adult or professional agency.
- No visitation: A “no visitation” option is used when it would be physically or emotionally harmful for a child to have any type of visitation right with a parent.
California Law Deciding Visitation Rights
The law in California gives judges the right to award visitation rights based on the “best interest of the child.” The court will need to consider the following factors in making its decision:
- The age of the child,
- The health of the child,
- The emotional ties between the parents and the child,
- The ability of the parents to care for the child,
- Any history of family violence or substance abuse, and
- The child’s ties to school, home, and his or her community.
Call an Experienced Stockton Child Custody Attorney
If you are involved in a child custody battle or simply have questions regarding child custody, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Stockton child custody attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.