Visitation 101

mother and daughter

In California, visitation is when the non-custodial parent has scheduled time with their children. In this case, the custodial parent is the parent with whom the children spend the most time.

Visitation is often one of the most common places where conflicts can form during or after a divorce. If one parent denies visitation for their children’s other parent, it can cause issues as both parents have court-mandated time with their children.

Your Visitation Plan

All terms of your visitation agreement will be outlined in your child custody agreement and visitation plan. Your visitation plan will include if your schedule is a fixed visitation schedule created by the court or if it is a reasonable visitation schedule, where both parents communicate to schedule their own visitation dates, independent of the court. If you have a fixed visitation schedule, your set dates will be included in the visitation plan.

We recommend keeping a printed copy of your visitation plan for future reference. Make sure to keep the visitation plan with any other important documents for your child, like birth certificates and passports, as your visitation plan is a court document.

If you have questions about what is included in your visitation plan, contact a child custody lawyer today.

If Your Spouse is Withholding Visitation

If you believe that your former spouse is withholding visitation, make sure to document it. Keep an electronic calendar where you can timestamp your visitation dates. If your former spouse refuses visitation with your children when you arrive, send yourself an email or an electronic message where you can timestamp your missed visitation. This paper trail can help support your case, since you may most likely need to file for a child custody modification.

With the help of a child custody attorney, you can file for a modification of your visitation agreement to better reflect your parental rights. If their other parent has withheld visitation of your child, the court can adjust their order to ensure that your visitation and parental rights are protected and your connection with your child preserved.

If Your Child is Refusing Visitation

Despite your child maturing, they are not legally able to refuse visitation until they reach adulthood and their child custody plan expires. Your child and their other parent must follow the visitation plan until your child reaches the age of 18.

If your child is refusing visitation and their other parent is allowing them to, call a child custody attorney to learn more about your options. Just like if your child’s other parent is withholding visitation, you will need to document any refused visitation. Your visitation plan is a legally binding document that you can modify in court with the help of a child custody attorney. Together, you can request a court order for your visitation to be enforced.

Grandparents’ Rights for Visitation

In California, grandparents are able to file for visitation if there is a preexisting relationship between the grandparents and child, as well as if they fit certain requirements. For a grandparent to file for visitation:

  • The child’s parents must not live together,
  • One of the parent’s whereabouts must not be known for at least one month,
  • The child does not live with either parent,
  • One of the child’s parents has passed away,
  • The child has been adopted by a stepparent,
  • The child’s parents are unmarried, or
  • One of the parents joins the petition for visitation.

If the grandparent qualifies, they can then file for visitation with the help of a child custody lawyer. The court will determine if the grandparent will be granted visitation if it is in the child's best interests and does not interfere with the child’s parents’ ability to parent.

Murrieta Child Custody Lawyer

If the parent of your children or grandchildren is not following your child custody and visitation plan, contact a compassionate child custody attorney to discuss your options. Our Murrieta child custody lawyer will build a case to adjust your child custody agreement based on the visitation violations or create a plan for visitation plan enforcement.

Call our child custody attorney at Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APC today at (951) 418-2770 to schedule an initial consultation.

Related Posts
  • How to Modify Custody Orders Read More
  • Helping Children Cope with Divorce Read More
  • What Should I Do If My Child Does Not Wish to Follow Their Custody Plan? Read More