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Mediation and Litigation

Establishing Visitation Rights

Posted on in Child Custody and Visitation

California divorce lawyer, California mediation attorneyDivorce and separations can be a high stress process between two individuals. If you add in a child, the level of stress becomes astronomical. Not only are you busy deciding who gets what as far as investment and finances, now you are tasked with determining your rights to the children with regard to visitation and custody.. The thought of deciding visitation is so overwhelming and incapacitating that many couples simply choose to stay together until the child becomes an adult at 18. However, there are thousands more who go forward and make the decision to establish child custody visitation rights. How do they make that decision?

Types of Custody

Before deciding who has visitation rights and what those rights are, parents must first decide who will have custody of the child. There are two different types of custody, these are legal and physical custody. Let us explain in further detail.

Legal Custody: This is who makes all of the major decisions, such as health, dental, and education. This can either be joint custody where both parents make the decisions and have a legal right to decide, or it may be sole custody in which case only one parent makes all of these decisions.Very seldom is sole legal custody ordered by the court or stipulated to by the parties.

Physical Custody: This is who the child lives with. Similar to legal custody, this can also be either joint custody or sole custody. Joint custody is typically not split evenly, but it does allow the child to live with both parents for periods of time, and sole custody requires that the child live with one parent. Generally physical custody is shared by both parents.

A judge can do any sort of combination of child custody visitation. One parent may have all rights and the other none, it can be split evenly down the middle, or any variation in between.

Types of Timeshare with the Children

The parents generally share custody of the children California. The parent whose timeshare is more than 50% is considered the primary custodian of the child. The determination of timeshare between the parents is determined mostly by the consideration of the best interest of the child. There are four typical forms of visitation rights. These are:

  • Visitation According to a Specified Schedule: With this method, a schedule is outlined so as to avoid scheduling conflict between the parents. and give Schedules generally include important days, holidays and special family occasions.
  • Reasonable Visitation: This option is open ended. There is not a schedule driven method and works best for parents who get along and can communicate, be flexible and work it out between themselves.
  • Supervised Visitation: This method is used when the child’s well-being may be compromised if the child is left alone with the visiting parent. This may be given to an abusive parent but also if the child and the visiting parent have not seen each other in a while and need to become reacquainted. Supervising parent may be the other parent or even a professional agent.
  • No Visitation: This is the extreme case when the welfare of the child is endangered, either emotionally or physically. This is when the court deems that it is in the child’s best interest to have no visitation with that parent at all.

Determining What Is Best

If the biological parents can decide on terms of how to divide visitation, there is no immediate need to get the courts involved. However, without a court order, those terms are not enforceable. Therefore, if one parent fails to hold up to their side of the agreement without a court order, then that is between the two parents. You do not have the option to go to court to obtain an order from the judge to enforce an agreement.

If you cannot decide between you, there are several options to help you determine child custody and visitation. A couple of these that the court may use are:

  • Mediation to help you work it out between you, or
  • Litigation to have the court assist you in determining what is in the best interest of the children.

If you are trying to figure out a visitation conflict, it can be extremely stressful. You may have an idea of what you want to accomplish and just are not sure of the proper steps to achieve your goal. It can be a huge stress reducer to have someone on your side who is knowledgeable in the legal system. A compassionate and experienced family law attorney can make the difference between realizing your goals or having them fail. If you are searching for a caring and effective San Jose, Los Gatos CA family attorney, do not hesitate to call Law Offices of Benita Ventresca today for your initial consultation at 408-395-8822.




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20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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