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How to manage visitation in child custody arrangements in California

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Blog, Child Custody And Visitation

Parents who separate in California need to prioritize their child’s best interest by having a parenting plan. This ensures that their child will continue to receive love, care and support despite their separation.

A parenting plan details the child custody arrangement and visitation or parenting time. Custody can be joint or sole. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with most of the time and legal custody refers to who makes important decisions for them.

Which visitation order is best for your child?

Another important aspect of a parenting plan is visitation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your separation, here are the four types of visitation orders available from the state of California:

  • Supervised: There is a need for a supervisor to look after your child’s well-being and safety. Visitation involving a parent and child who are not familiar with each other sometimes requires supervision. Common supervisors are the other parent, other trusted adults or professional agencies.
  • No visitation: Visitation is not feasible because a parent poses a harmful threat to your child. And the threat is too grave for a supervisor to intervene. The most usual threats are emotional and physical.
  • Open or reasonable: This type of visitation is open-ended. It’s anything goes for as long as the parents continue to agree on the setup. However, this only works for separated parents who remain cordial and communicative.
  • With a schedule: This is a clear-cut visitation that secures dates and times for both parents to spend time with their child. You can specify timelines for holidays, vacations, birthdays and special occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and National Grandparents Day.

Parents can draw up the parenting plan or let a court decide if they don’t see eye to eye. A judge will decide based on a child’s age, health, emotional ties to parents and ties to their community. Other considerations include parenting abilities and any history of family violence, substance abuse and other criminal records.

Putting your child first when making decisions

Separation tears the family apart, and custody and visitation aim to mend some wounds through compromise. Amid the changes in your family, it’s important to put your child first when you decide on the parenting plan.