Fathers’ Child Visitation Rights in California

In California, visitation is called “timesharing,” which is the scheduled plan that outlines how parents will spend time with their children during and after a divorce. Generally, if you spend less than half of the time that the other parent spends with your kids, you have “visitation.”

This is often the case for fathers, especially when children are very young and the mother has been their main caretaker. However, physical custody can be split on a 50-50 basis so that each parent has approximately the same time if proximity allows, parents can work it out, and the court decides that it is best for their children.

It must be remembered that courts must take an objective stand on custody when it comes to the sex of parents. Mothers are not favored over fathers. Generally, courts favor a meaningful, frequent, and continuing relationship with both parents after divorce; this is typically seen as what is best for kids in terms of their development, emotional needs, and parental support.

Need legal help in fighting for visitation with your kids? Talk to an attorney at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich at (951) 506-6654. Call for a free consultation to get started.

What Are the Various Types of Visitation Orders Issued by California Courts?

The different types of visitation orders will depend on what the court sees as being best for the children, the unique circumstances of the case as presented, and other factors it may review.

Visitation orders can be as follows:

  • According to a set schedule that puts into detail the days and times that visitation will occur with each parent including overnights. These schedules can be extensive, including holidays, birthdays, school vacations, and other special occasions (Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, for example). This schedule can also include pickup and drop-off times or transportation details for how exchanges between parents will be made.
  • Arranged as “reasonable visitation.” This order might not have specific details as to the times/dates of the spending time with each parents but remain open. This allows the parents to work it out based on their circumstances and preferences or whatever works for them. This type of order will only work if the parents have a somewhat amicable relationship, can be flexible, and can discuss matters easily and reasonably. This type of schedule can run into trouble, however, should disagreements or misunderstandings arise.
  • Only through supervised visitation. This means that the parent in question can only spend time with the child when supervised, either by the other parent, another adult, or someone from a professional agency. This type of visitation order generally occurs when the court believes a child’s safety and welfare require it, such as with a parent who has been a substance abuser or family violence offender in the past. However, it may also be appropriate in cases where a child has not had any contact with the parent for a very long spell and needs to gradually be re-introduced.
  • No visitation allowed. This occurs rarely and only when it has been shown that visiting a parent would be harmful, whether emotionally or physically, for the child and that no contact is in the best interests of the child.

In all custody arrangements, it is generally considered to be best to stick to the plan that has been set forth by the court and to refrain from interfering with the child’s relationship with your former spouse. In fact, courts often grant primary custody to the parent who will most likely be open to encouraging the child’s relationship with the other parent.

Need Help Fighting for Your Visitation Rights?

If you need to fight for your visitation rights as a father, whether in a pending divorce or in a post-divorce situation where your former spouse is denying you access, you should have competent legal representation.

At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, we have a Board Certified Family Law Specialist onboard; this amounts to a certified legal expert in family law. With our dedication to your cause and the highest level of expertise available, you can be confident that we will do everything possible to help you achieve positive results.

Get legal help with your visitation or other family law case. Call us at (951) 506-6654 today.


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