After custody is determined, the court may need to make visitation orders. Visitation is necessary when one parent has been given sole physical custody, which means that the child lives almost exclusively with that parent. Visitation orders are not required when parents share joint custody of the child.
Creating a visitation schedule, or visitation orders, can be especially difficult for some parents. If both parties are able to cooperate, then they can work together to create a schedule. If conflict occurs, then the court may decide to step in.
What You Need to Know About Visitation
Visitation is simply allotted time given to the non-custodial parent to spend with the child. Visitation schedules usually include specific details about the timing, location, and transportation responsibilities. A separate schedule can also be created for out of the ordinary events, such as birthdays, holidays, and school vacations.
If both parents can make a satisfactory schedule, then the court will review and sign it, at which point the schedule becomes a court order. Should court involvement become necessary, the child's best interests will be upheld at all points during the arrangements.
It is important to take into account your work schedule and any other events that may hinder time spend with your child when creating a schedule. Children thrive on routine, so consistency and normalcy is best.
As your visitation schedule is put into action, observe your child and see how they react to the schedule. If you notice that it is not working out as well as you'd hoped, you may submit a modification request to the court. Courts understand that family life is constantly changing, so in most cases they are willing to make an adjustment. Supplying proof that this modification is in your child's best interest is all that is necessary when submitting your request.
Another thing to keep in mind is: your child's relationship to his or her grandparents. Divorce also affects other members of the family - grandparents may wish to maintain their relationship with the child(ren). In California, depending on the circumstances, a grandparent may petition a court for visitation with a grandchild as well.
If you and your former spouse are in the midst of creating a visitation schedule, it can be beneficial to work with an attorney who can keep the peace and protect your rights. Contact an Orange County divorce attorney from The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague today for more information!