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Visitation Rights

Los Angeles Visitation Attorneys

Visitation Rights in California

In California, noncustodial parents have the right to seek visitation with their children, according to the discretion of the family court. It is a legal arrangement that outlines the schedule and conditions under which a non-custodial parent can have access to and spend time with their child, who primarily resides with the custodial parent.

The family court's main concern is the well-being of the child, and in most cases, they determine that it is best for children to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents. The family judge's top priority is the wellbeing of the children and will award visitation based on what he or she believes is in their best interests.

There are four main types of visitation:

  • Reasonable Visitation – Typically, an order for reasonable visitation is open-ended and enables the parents to work out a visitation plan on their own. This order is often made when the parents have an amicable relationship that focuses on what is best for their children. However, even if the parents communicate well and are flexible, disagreements can occur that will cause complications in the visitation schedule.
  • Scheduled Visitation – In many situations, it is helpful for the family to have a detailed visitation plan that specifically describes when each parent has visitation with the children. The schedule will outline the dates and times of visitation, including special occasions, holidays, and vacations.
  • Supervised Visitation – If the judge believes the noncustodial parent could pose a threat to the safety and wellbeing of the children, they may order all visits to be supervised by the other parent, another adult, or a professional agency. The judge may also order supervised visitation if the children and parent need time to get familiar with each other.
  • No Visitation – If the court determines that the children could suffer physical or emotional damage by visiting with the noncustodial parent, even while supervised, the judge may order no visitation. In such situations, the noncustodial parent will be ordered to have absolutely no contact with the children.

Going through a visitation dispute? Our attorneys can provide the skillful representation you need to protect your rights. Contact Claery & Hammond, LLP today!

What to Do If the Custodial Parent Withhold Visitation

Although each party promises to uphold their end of the agreement, it is not uncommon for custodial parents to deny noncustodial parents their rightful visitation with the children. Visitation denial can occur in various ways, and it's important to note that each situation is unique.

Common ways in which visitation may be denied include:

  • Refusal to Allow Visitation: The custodial parent outright refuses to allow the noncustodial parent their court-ordered visitation time without a valid reason.
  • Interference with Scheduled Visits: The custodial parent interferes with scheduled visits by canceling or rescheduling them without proper justification.
  • Manipulation of the Child: The custodial parent may attempt to manipulate the child by discouraging or preventing them from spending time with the noncustodial parent.
  • False Allegations: The custodial parent may make false allegations of abuse or harm, leading to concerns about the child's safety during visitation.
  • Relocation without Notification: The custodial parent relocates with the child without notifying the noncustodial parent, making it difficult for scheduled visitations to take place.
  • Restrictive Conditions: Imposing unreasonable conditions or restrictions on visitation, such as demanding supervision or limiting the duration of visits, can be a form of denial.
  • Violation of Court Orders: The custodial parent disregards court orders related to visitation schedules and arrangements.
  • Emergency Situations: In some cases, the custodial parent may deny visitation due to an emergency situation, such as a sudden illness. However, it's important to communicate and find alternative arrangements in such cases.
  • Parental Alienation: Parental alienation occurs when one parent influences the child to reject or fear the other parent, damaging the parent-child relationship.

If a custodial parent is withholding visitation in California, you may consider taking the following steps:

  1. Communication: Start by attempting to communicate with the custodial parent to understand their concerns or reasons for withholding visitation. Keep records of your attempts to communicate, including dates, times, and methods used.
  2. Mediation: Consider seeking the help of a mediator. Mediation can be a voluntary and confidential process where a neutral third party helps facilitate communication and reach an agreement.
  3. Court Order Enforcement: If you have a court-ordered visitation schedule, and the custodial parent is violating the court order, you may need to enforce the order through legal means. Consult with an attorney to explore filing a motion to enforce the visitation order. The court can intervene to address violations.
  4. Documentation: Keep detailed records of all denied visitations, noting dates, times, and any relevant information. This documentation may be useful if legal action is necessary.
  5. File a Contempt Motion: If the custodial parent continues to deny visitation despite a court order, you may file a contempt motion. This involves asking the court to hold the custodial parent in contempt for violating the court order.
  6. Modification of Visitation Order: In some cases, you may need to seek a modification of the visitation order. This could involve demonstrating to the court that a change in circumstances warrants a modification.
  7. Consult with an Attorney: It's advisable to consult with a family law attorney who can provide guidance based on your specific situation. They can help you understand your legal options and navigate the court system.
  8. Stay Calm and Persistent: It's important to remain calm and persistent throughout the process. Follow legal procedures, attend court hearings, and work within the system to seek resolution.

Turn to Our Skilled Los Angeles Visitation Lawyers

At Claery & Hammond, LLP, our team is dedicated to helping parents protect their relationships with their children, and we can advocate for you before the court. It is very important that you retain knowledgeable representation to ensure your rights are not violated and that your voice is heard at your visitation hearing. Contact our experienced Los Angeles visitation attorneys to discuss your situation and learn more about your legal options.

Research has shown that children greatly benefit from having both parents maintain an active presence in their life, and our attorneys have seen firsthand just how hurtful it can be for the child to be denied having this important relationship. If you are a parent seeking visitation with your child following a divorce, separation, or break-up, you need to ensure your rights are protected.

Our Los Angeles visitation attorneys understand how much your children mean to you, and we can fight to preserve your rights to visitation. Regardless of the specific circumstances of your visitation case, you can be confident that our firm will provide the tireless advocacy you need before the family court.

Fighting for visitation rights? Contact us at (310) 817-6904 or fill out afree case evaluation form to discuss your options today!

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