There are several reasons why the process of divorce is difficult. One of the reasons is the concept of not seeing your children day in and day out. Additionally, it’s emotional and upsetting to know that they get to live with your soon to be ex-spouse. When do you not have physical custody of your children, you might harbor resentment or anger towards the other spouse. Most family court judges understand the importance that a parent plays in a child’s life. An ideal situation is that the soon to be divorced couple works out a visitation schedule themselves, however, if the parents cannot agree, it is up to the court to decide what is in the best interest of the child. Our child visitation attorneys will work in conjunction with the family court to make sure that your rights are being protected and you get the opportunity to see your children. Judges may award up to 50% of visitation as long as it does not disrupt the child’s schedule such as missing school or other activities such as doctor’s appointments. However, the usual visitation schedule is one weeknight per week and every other weekend in the month.
What Factors Determine Child Visitation
- How long the non physical custody parent waited before fighting for visitation rights
- Living conditions of the non physical custody parent’s home and geographic location
- How long the non physical custody parent has spent time with the child
- Any history of abuse from the non physical custody parent
- The children’s age and special needs
What Factors Are Not Relevant
- Whether or not the nonphysical custody parent has paid child support
- Whether or not the nonphysical custody parent is employed
- Whether or not the nonphysical custody parent is remarried
What Happens if I have Joint Legal Custody?
Legal custody is the right to make decisions about a child’s life including but not limited to healthcare, safety, overall welfare, religion, and education. In most instances, both parents share joint legal custody of the child. If you have joint legal custody of your child but are not the physical custodian of your child, you are still entitled to visitation and parenting time. .
What Happens if My Ex-Spouse Is Not Letting Me See My Children
If a child visitation schedule is agreed upon and court ordered, then the custodial parent is obligated to follow it. It is against the law for them to withhold visitation. The San Diego County District Attorney’s’ Office has rolled out a reporting system for any violations of a court-ordered visitation schedule. You can find the form here: http://www.sdcda.org/helping/visitation/child-visitation-violation.html.
What Happens If My Kid Doesn’t Want To See Me?
Depending on the age of the child, the parent with physical custody is obligated to adhere to the agreed upon child visitation schedule. When the child reaches a certain age (around
14 years old), the courts recognize that the physical custodian cannot force the child to visit their noncustodial parent and follow the visitation schedule. This is not considered a visitation violation as it’s the child who does not want to visit rather than the parent withholding the child.
Can I Change My Child Visitation Agreement?
There are many circumstances that might require a change in the visitation agreement. The primary custodial parent or the nonphysical custody parent may get a new job, become remarried or move away. If any of the parties involved will not be able to stick to the original visitation schedule, then contacting a child visitation lawyer to help change the agreement might be necessary, especially if the parents cannot agree to new terms. An attorney can help negotiate on your behalf, otherwise, the decision will be left to the family law court, which might not have your desired outcome.
What is Supervised Visitation?
In the event that one of the parents may be a danger to the child or is a stranger to the child, the court may order supervised visitation. Factors that might contribute to this decision may include physical, emotional or sexual abuse, domestic violence towards the other spouse, or history of alcohol and drug abuse and other criminal activity. Supervised visitations can occur at licensed facilities or in the presence of a designated third party. If the other parent is in prison, supervised visitation might be granted as well.
Contact Our Child Visitation Attorneys
If you are in the middle of a divorce and need help creating a child visitation schedule or looking to change your current child visitation schedule, feel free to contact any one of our child visitation attorneys for legal guidance. We know that divorce is an extremely difficult process and we are here to make it easier by being an advocate for your rights.