For California parents who have ended their relationship with their spouse or partner, the relationship with their child will still need to continue. Visitation rights can be a complex and problematic issue, and the best interests of the child are paramount. Some parents will allow their disagreements and potential lingering animosity with the other parent to interfere with parenting time and visitation. That is why it is essential to understand the different types of visitation orders that are available under state law. A parent who has the child for less than half the time will be granted visitation. There are generally four different categories of visitation: scheduled visitation, reasonable visitation, supervised visitation and no visitation.
Scheduled visitation can be beneficial for both parents to avoid disputes and to have a basic idea as to when the child will be with which parent. This type of visitation order will have the dates and times at which the child will be with the parents. Included in this order can be holidays, birthdays and other special occasions. Vacations can be included as well.
Reasonable visitation might not be as detailed as scheduled visitation. These orders will be flexible and parents whose relationship is amicable can benefit from this type of collaborative arrangement. It can also be useful to the child as it accords flexibility for everyone.
Supervised visitation takes the child's safety into account. If a parent must be watched when he or she is with the child, the custodial parent, another adult or a professional agency will be with the supervised parent during the visit. This can be used in cases where the parent was not a part of the child's life and they must become familiar with one another. It can also be used if there are other concerns like substance abuse or other problems.
No visitation is relatively self-explanatory. If the parent could be a danger to the child in a physical or emotional way, then there is the option not to have any visitation rights at all.
Parents should know about the different types of visitation alternatives regardless of their relationship with their ex and the child's situation. Speaking to an attorney about visitation can help parents formulate a plan or settle disagreements. A lawyer who handles child custody and visitation cases can provide guidance and advice.
Source: courts.ca.gov, "Basics of Custody & Visitation Orders," accessed Nov. 13, 2017