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What are the types of visitation arrangements in California?

Divorce can hit children hard. While their parents engage in a war of words, children are often afraid of their future. Seeing their parents fight and left with uncertainty about their future living arrangements, children are often left feeling insecure and worried.

In keeping the best interests of the child in mind, courts often order that one parent to take over child custody, while the other pays child support. The non-custodial parent can then visit the child, in accordance with a visitation arrangement. It outlines in great detail the time-sharing plan that each parent will follow.

So, what are the various types of visitation arrangements in California? A parent who has less than 50 percent of the time with the child has the right to visit the child after divorce, with visitation arrangements varying, depending on the ruling. Typically parents will come up with a visitation plan to prevent confusion. This type of plan can be a fairly detailed one, with the date and the time given to the non-custodial child given in great detail. Visitation plans will also take into consideration where the child will be on birthdays and other special occasions.

The second type of visitation plan is reasonable visitation, where the arrangement is more flexible and leaves it up to the parents to work out the details between themselves. Such plans may lead to misunderstandings, however, which may not be in the best interests of the child.

On occasion, the court may even feel that visitation by the non-custodial parent is not in the best interest of the child. In such cases, the court will issue an order asking that parent to stop seeing the child. This post cannot provide specific legal advice about what type of custody situation is best in a particular situation, however, an attorney may be able to provide more insight.

Source: California Courts, "Basics of Custody & Visitation Orders," Accessed on Feb. 4, 2015

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