When parents with children separate and divorce they need to have a plan for how their children will be cared for and where they will live. They also need to agree on custody and visitation of their children.
The best thing that you can do, as a parent, is to understand how the system operates. You will want to understand by what criteria decisions are being made, and what visitation options exist. Understanding the system, the principles by which the family court operates, and the options it provides will help you to build the best possible case for child visitation terms.
If parents cannot come to an agreement regarding visitation rights, the family court will help them to develop a plan. Child custody laws require family court judges to give custody according to what is in the best interest of the child.
In determining what is best for the child, Hemet family court considers:
- The age of the child
- The health of the child
- The emotional ties between the parents and the child
- The ability of the parents to care for the child
- Any history of family violence or substance abuse
- The child’s ties to school, home, and community
Visitation for a parent who has the children less than half of the time requires visitation orders. Visitation orders depend on the best interests of the children, and the situation of the parents. Generally visitation falls into four categories, which are:
- Scheduled visitation: This requires detailed visitation plans and is designed to prevent conflicts and confusion, so parents and courts often come up with a visitation schedule detailing the dates and times that the children will be with each parent. Visitation schedules can include holidays, special occasions, and vacations.
- Reasonable visitation: A reasonable visitation order does not necessarily have details as to when the children will be with each parent. Usually, these orders are open-ended and allow the parents to work it out between themselves. This type of visitation plan works if parents are flexible and communicate well with one another and the children are older.
- Supervised visitation: This is used when the children’s safety and well-being requires that another person be present during visits. It is also used when a child and parent need time to get to know one another.
- No visitation: This option is used when visiting with the parent, even with supervision, would be physically or emotionally harmful to the child or children. In these cases, it is not in the best interest of the children for the parent to have any contact with the children.
When defining what type of visitation is best for the children involved, the Hemet family court takes many factors into consideration, the main one being what is best for the children.