What Are Child Visitation Rights? - Family Court Direct
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What You Need to Know About Child Visitation

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Child visitation is a critical part of the child’s life. It ensures that the child can maintain an emotional connection with both parents. Learn your rights now.

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What Is Child Visitation?


Child visitation is when each parent has their own separate time to spend with their child, apart from the other parent. When parents divorce, parental rights and responsibilities such as child custody and visitation have to be allocated. In California, either parent can be awarded child custody. Common custody arrangements include sole legal custody and sole physical custody, as well as joint legal custody and joint physical custody. Although the judge has the final say when deciding custody arrangements and visitation schedules, they usually approve parenting plans both parents agree on.

The courts prefer and encourage the child’s parents to work together and make a parenting plan that works for all family members. However, sometimes that is not possible.

If the parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule, the courts will determine the best schedule based on the situation and the child’s best interest. There are certain factors that the court will take into consideration when determining the visitation schedule, which may include:

  • The parent’s ability to maintain a parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to make reasonable adjustments
  • The anticipated division of parental responsibilities, including third parties
  • The parent’s ability to put the child’s needs and desires before the desires of the parent
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability to maintain continuity
  • The moral fitness of the parents
  • The mental and physical health of the parents
  • The child’s school, home, and community records

Sometimes the court will deny visitation, but this only occurs under serious circumstances such as a parent’s criminal record or the threat of harm to the child.

Typically, it is in the child’s best interest to have visitation with both parents. It is important for parents to work together and cooperate to make the best out of their time-sharing schedule with their children. If parents cannot get along, the courts are there to set the visitation schedule and the rules both parents must follow to ensure the child is spending time with both parents in a happy and healthy way.

In addition, either parent can file a petition to have custody or visitation order changed. But, the parent seeking the order typically has to prove that a substantial change of circumstances occurred since the order was issued and that the change would be in the child best interest.


What Are Child Visitation Rights?

Child visitation rights are legal rights given to non-custodial parents so that they can spend time with their children. Visitation can be ordered by a judge or agreed upon between parents.

Visitation orders usually outline how much time parents will spend with their children and how they will communicate while they’re apart. These orders may also include other details, such as whether the non-custodial parent will be allowed to take the children on vacation or have overnight visits.

Many states have statutes governing the circumstances under which judges can deny visitation requests. For example, some states require judges to follow specific procedures before denying a parent’s request for visitation. Other states allow judges greater discretion in deciding if denying visitation is in the child’s best interest.

Child Visitation in Divorce


The process of divorce can be extremely stressful and emotionally draining. You and your spouse may have been married for many years, and now you need to figure out how to move forward with your lives separately. In addition, you need to figure out who will receive physical custody of your children. It’s important to remember that child visitation is not only about your children but also about you.

Child Visitation After Divorce

Visitation is generally considered to be time a non-custodial parent spends with their child. This usually happens on the weekend or during vacations from school. In some cases, however, the court might impose restrictions on which days of the week or which hours the non-custodial parents can visit their children.

The purpose of this restriction is usually to prevent conflict between parents and protect the parent-child relationship. However, this can be a challenging situation for both the parents and the child. It means that one parent may have to give up some time with their children to allow them more time with a parent they may not get along with or even know very well! These are often referred to as parenting time schedules.

The court will likely issue visitation orders with a standard visitation schedule if you cannot agree on a child visitation schedule. This could include weekends, holidays, and summer vacations. The non-custodial parent would generally have their children for a set number of days each week or month.

Child Visitation Agreements

A child visitation agreement is a contract between two parents that establishes the terms for how often and how long each parent will be allowed to see their child. It can also establish who makes decisions regarding their child’s well-being, for instance, their healthcare. 

This agreement is crucial because it helps you ensure that both parents know precisely their rights and obligations regarding their children’s care.

If you’re going through a divorce, having a child visitation agreement in place helps to avoid any confusion.

Having a child visitation agreement helps work out a suitable parenting time schedule for both parents and can also be included as part of the parenting plan you need to submit to the court.

Need to know more about a child visitation agreement? Get help understanding the laws in your state and how they may apply to your situation.

Child Visitation Guidelines

Child visitation can be a difficult and sensitive matter, especially when parents are no longer together.

There are different types of child visitation arrangements, and it is crucial to find one that works best for the children and the parents.

Here are some things to keep in mind when making a child visitation arrangement:


Unsupervised Visitation

Unsupervised visitation is when a parent can visit their child without any supervision. This type of visitation can be arranged if both parents feel comfortable with it and there is no history of abuse or violence. Unsupervised visitation can be a good option for parents who live close to each other and can easily visit the child.


Supervised Visitation

Supervised visitation is when the parent visits the child in the presence of a third party, such as a social worker, grandparent, friend, or relative. This type of visitation can be arranged if there are concerns about the child’s safety or if there is a history of abuse or violence. In addition, supervised visitation can be a good option for parents who live far from each other and need help arranging visits.



Parents need regular communication with their children, including quality video calls, phone calls, and messages.

Some tips to ensure successful communication between co-parents and their children are:

  • With a child generally: Parents should encourage healthy private communication with their children and avoid interference from the other parent or speaking negatively about each other in front of the child.

  • Between parents: Parents should update each other on their contact information and only communicate about the child at reasonable times and locations. A child should never be used to exchange documents or financial information between parents.

Situations Requiring an Attorney

If you are a non-custodial parent and have been denied visitation with your child, consider discussing your situation with a dedicated family law attorney.

Denying a non-custodial parent visitation with their child is a serious matter that might result in the custodial parent losing custody of the child. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand your rights and options in this situation.

An attorney can also help you negotiate a new visitation schedule with the other parent or represent you in court if necessary.

Call us today to get an evaluation of your case at (888) 826 0324.