One part of child custody deals specifically with visitation. When it comes to visitation rights and custodial arrangements, parents and families want to come up with visitation that enables children to enjoy time with each parent that promotes healthy parent child relationships.
It is of utmost importance to have an experienced San Mateo visitation lawyer on your side. A knowledgeable and competent attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to visitation and custody.
Child custody refers to the legal and physical care and control of a child. In the case of divorce with children or separation of unmarried couples with children, it is the duty of parents to establish and adhere to the child custody plan for their children. The goal of establishing child custody is to provide a loving, secure, and supportive environment so that the child can thrive and develop into adulthood with stability.
There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, such as education, medical care, and religious practices. Physical custody pertains to the right and obligation to care for the child on a daily basis including where the child will physically reside.
A family court judge will decide how legal and physical custody will be established based on what is in the best interest of the child. Ideally both parents can be trusted to share custody. How parents share custody is the fundamental element of custody plans.
Mr. Bayan is always frank with the client. It is not unusual for parents to be concerned about the parent child relationship once the couple is no longer residing together, so he makes sure to lay out exactly how custody and visitation works. His approach is to reassure his client so together they can come up with a workable plan that is supportive of the child given the new circumstances.
Visitation is the plan for how each parent will spend time with their child or children. In California, a child’s main physical custody may be primarily with one parent with the other parent having visitation according to a schedule. Visitation should be reasonable and as ample as possible. Visitation can vary based on age of the children, the schedule of the parents and as always on the best interests of the child.
The goal of visitation is for the child to be able to spend time with each parent so they can enjoy the love and support of both father and mother. Parents do well to promote access to the other parent through physical visits and even through modern amenities like phone calls and Facetime sessions. As a parent, you do not want your child to feel that they are being cut off from the other parent by you or your actions.
Having said that, it is also the obligation of the non physical custodial parent to visit reliably and consistently. When it is your time with your child, make that a priority. Sharing your time with your child will show them that you love them and care about them.
Child custody in California is determined on a case-by-case basis. The court’s primary concern when determining custody arrangements is the best interest of the child, which includes taking into account the safety of the child. For example if a parent has a history of domestic abuse or drug use, these factors may affect the custody and the visitation plan. A parent with those issues may have to have supervised visitation, meaning the visits are overseen by the other parent, another adult (relative, friend) , or a supervising agency monitor like a social worker. Visits take place in a safe controlled location.
In determining child custody, parents also have input by working out their custody plan and suggesting this to the court. If the court sees no problem with the plan as viewed with the child best interests at heart, the court can agree with and approve the custody arrangements suggested. The court will consider all relevant factors, such as the parent’s work schedules, living arrangements, and ability to meet the child’s needs. Visitation plans should be designed to make sure the child is able to attend school, enjoy time with friends and extracurricular activities, and have consistent time to eat and sleep – things they did before their parents separated. Co-parenting with respect, reliability, and flexibility will bring happy rewards to both children and parents.
Changing custody or visitation plans is sometimes necessary and it is important to understand the legal requirements for doing so. As situations change, you may need to modify custody arrangements or visitation times. For example, if a parent gets a new job that takes them too far away to have their child visit daily/weekly.
To begin the process, it is best to contact an attorney who specializes in child custody and visitation, like Mr. Bayan. He can provide advice about what is in the best interests of the child as well as help guide you through any court proceedings that may be necessary.
It is important to seek professional legal advice before proceeding with any changes. The child custody plan filed with the court is the one in force. When significant changes occur, a new plan should be formally made and have the court’s approval. Mr. Bayan will be able to advise you on how best to navigate the process, negotiate a new plan, address changes in child support, and make sure that any changes are made in accordance with the best interests of your child.
For unmarried couples, legally establishing paternity is a critical part of gaining visitation for a father. Without legal establishment of paternity, a father does not have legal rights to visit his child or make decisions for his child. Establishing paternity is also necessary to establish child support obligations.
Paternity can easily be established by having both parents voluntarily signing a Declaration of Paternity making them legal parents of the child. The couple can sign it at the hospital when the child is born or sign it later and have it filed with California Department of Child Support Services.
If paternity is in question, either the father or mother may initiate a case to establish paternity and have the court legally identify the father. Once paternity has been established, both parents have the right to request and receive legal recognition of their rights as parents, including custody requests, visitation, and child support.
If you are concerned about how to obtain your rights for visitation or how to work out a visitation plan, do not hesitate to speak with Bradley Bayan. Mr. Bayan has the knowledge and experience to help you in these matters. He understand your rights and responsibilities under California law.
Contact the Law Offices of Bradley Bayan at (650) 364-3600 to schedule a free consultation.