While sometimes divorced parents in California share physical custody with each parent having the child in their care 50% of the time, oftentimes this 50/50 split is simply not feasible, especially if the parents live far apart from one another or have conflicting work schedules. When this happens, one parent will have physical custody of the child for more than 50% of the time and the other parent will have visitation with the child also referred to as “time-share.” A visitation order will be based on the best interests of the child. The following is a brief overview of three types of visitation orders.
For some parents having scheduled visitation periods works best. Not only will the parents know exactly when they have their child in their care, but it also provides the child with a sense of stability. For example, the noncustodial parent may have the child every-other weekend, one specific weeknight and on certain holidays.
Sometimes parents need more flexibility when it comes to child custody and visitation. These parents may find reasonable visitation to be a preferrable way to share parenting time. A reasonable visitation order does not give an exact schedule detailing when the noncustodial parent will have visitation. Instead, visitation periods are open-ended and will be worked out by the parents on an ongoing basis. For reasonable visitation to work the parents must be able to communicate and cooperate with one another. Disagreements or misunderstandings can cause problems that affect both the parents and the child.
Sometimes a child’s safety and well-being are at risk when they are with the noncustodial parent unsupervised. Other times the noncustodial parent may be estranged from the child and both the parent and the child need time to get to know each other. In these situations supervised visitation may be appropriate. The supervising party may be the custodial parent, another adult or a professional agency.
Learn more about child custody and visitation in California
California child custody laws provide parents with a variety of options to craft the child custody and visitation arrangements that best meet their needs and more importantly the needs of the child. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on child custody may be a useful resource for parents who want to learn more about this topic.