Even the best of parents in California may find that, after years of being married, they are best off ending their union. When parents in California divorce, it is only natural that they both want to spend as much time with their child as possible. However, sometimes it is in a child’s best interests to live primarily with one parent. When a child spends less than 50 percent of their time with a parent, that parent will have visitation rights. In general, there are three types of visitation that could be ordered.
First there is scheduled visitation. The schedule will list which dates and times the child will be under the care of which parent, including holidays, birthdays and vacations. An advantage of this type of visitation is that it reduces conflict and makes it clear who is to have the child and when.
Then there is “reasonable visitation.” Reasonable visitation leaves things open ended, so that the child’s parents can have flexibility regarding who has the child and when. In order for reasonable visitation to be successful, the child’s parents need to be able to cooperate and communicate in an effective manner.
Finally, there is supervised visitation. Courts may order this if, for safety reasons, the child should only have visitation time with a parent under the supervision of another adult. Supervised visitation may also be useful if a parent has been out of the child’s life for a long time, and therefore the parent and the child need sufficient time and space to become reacquainted.
In the end, any visitation orders must serve the best interests of the child. If a parent believes they are wrongfully being denied the visitation they are due, they may need to bring the matter to court. The court can look at the situation objectively to determine whether the visitation order is being followed. If it is not, it may be modified. Moreover, there may be repercussions for the parent that is violating the order. Therefore, it is in the best interests of all involved to ensure that a visitation order is fair and is dutifully followed.