Focusing On Family Law – And You
Most parents in Torrance can agree that our children are the most precious people to us. So, when faced with divorce it can be distressing for parents to realize they may no longer see their child every day like they did when they were married. It is likely that one parent will have primary custody of the child and the other parent will have visitation periods with the child. This is meant to ensure the child spends time and maintains a positive relationship with each parent. In California, there are several types of visitation orders.
It is often helpful for parents and children to have a regular, agreed upon visitation schedule. This prevents disagreements and allows parents and the child to know what to expect, which can help make the transition to post-divorce life easier. A visitation schedule can list the exact dates and times the noncustodial parent will spend with the child. This includes not just weekly arrangements, but also special days and holidays along with vacations.
Sometimes a more flexible visitation order is necessary, making scheduled visitation impossible. In these times, reasonable visitation may be ordered. Through reasonable visitation the time the child spends with the noncustodial parent is more open-ended and is worked out between both parents. Reasonable visitation will only work if both parents can get along amicably, cooperate and allow for flexibility in their schedules. Disagreements or miscommunications can make reasonable visitation difficult and inappropriate for both parents and the child.
Sometimes it is not safe to let a parent visit their child alone if domestic violence has been an issue in the past. Other times a parent and child have been separated for a very long time and need time to get to know each other. At these times it may be appropriate to have supervised visitation. The visitation can be overseen by another adult or a professional agency. If the child’s safety means that even supervised visits would be harmful to the child, then no visitation may be ordered.
The best interests of the child
Ultimately, any visitation orders must align with the best interests of the child. This involves analyzing many factors that pertain to the child’s physical, emotional and developmental needs. By keeping the child’s best interests in mind, parents in California can develop a child custody and visitation schedule that works for them and their child.