What You Need to Know About Parental Visitation Rights

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What You Need to Know About Parental Visitation Rights

Going through a divorce is always difficult, but when it comes to child custody, the laws in California can make things even more complex. Both parents are usually concerned about their time with their children, and mothers and fathers both have the right to seek child visitation or child custody. Parental visitation refers to a wide range of programs designed by the court to allot one parent time to see their children even when the other parent has primary custody. Continue reading to learn more about the different kinds of parental visitation in San Diego—and how each parent’s rights may change.

What is Reasonable Visitation?

After a divorce, a judge may order one parent to give the other reasonable visitation rights. When divorces are amicable, a reasonable visitation schedule allows the parents to work together to establish the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights. But as divorce attorneys advise their clients to remember, the custodial parent is not legally obligated to agree to proposed visits.

How is Fixed Visitation Different?

If you and your former spouse have a contentious relationship, you may want to discuss your options for fixed visitation with a divorce attorney. With a fixed visitation schedule, a judge orders times where the non-custodial parent is to have parental visitation. For example, a non-custodial parent could have visitation rights on Monday and Wednesday nights, or only on holiday weekends. Some parents also negotiate fixed visitation to give their children stability and so that each parent can manage expectations.

Can I Challenge My Former Spouse’s Rights?

If your ex is attempting to alienate the children, a child support attorney can help you petition the court to modify the visitation arrangement. For example, former spouses sometimes say bad things about the other parent or threaten to withhold court-mandated child support in an effort to get more time with the kids. A divorce lawyer can bring these issues to the court’s attention by asking that the offending parent be ordered to take parenting or anger management classes or demanding the family participate in therapy sessions. If the offending parent refuses to comply, your divorce lawyer can ask the court to modify visitation or custody arrangements.

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Ilona Antonyan