The term “visitation” in relation to child custody arrangements after a divorce can be considered an umbrella term, since visitation covers – and concerns – different issues, different laws, and different parties.
Parents going through the process of divorce are tasked with developing and agreeing upon plans for parenting in addition to child custody arrangements and financial issues regarding child support. It follows, logically then that each of these issues is subject to separate orders being filed with the court. And each of these issues is handled as a separate concern; for example, a parent may not legally withhold visitation time from the other parent if the other parent is, say, late with child support payments. Once child custody and visitation is established after a divorce occurs, it may be modified or changed by petitioning the court at a later date. Of course, any changes are subject to what the court will assess as significant changes in one or both parents’ circumstances.
The best interest of the child is paramount. For that reason and others, the court also takes the following factors under advisement when determining visitation arrangements:
- How old is the child?
- What is the state of the child’s health?
- What is the nature and strength of the emotional bond between parents and the child?
- What is the nature and extent of the child’s roots or ties to his/her home, school, and community?
- To what degree are the parents best able to provide care for the child?
- Is there any history of violence, abuse or substance abuse in the family?
In California, visitation is referred to as “parenting time” and “time-share”. Generally, the parent who has custody of the children less than half (50%) of the time is granted visitation. That means they are empowered by the court to spend with their children. Sometimes, grandparents petition the Court for visitation rights. Different types of visitation provided under California statutes will be addressed in a subsequent post.
We would like to remind our readers that the content of this blog is meant only as an informational overview and not as legal advice. Therefore, if you have questions about any topic appearing here, or would like to know more, it may be behoove you to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney.
As Orange County’s premier family law specialists, the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle can provide answers to your questions and concerns, clarify and establish your legal rights, and represent you in court. If you would like more information about child visitation or any other aspect of California family law, please call to set up a consultation. We’re ready to move forward when you are. Just contact us in Tustin at 714-598-3714.