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Child Visitation

The amount of visitation will have a direct impact on the issue of Child Support and the bond that you have with your child or children. It is one of most important legal issues that need to be decided. It is very important that parents focus on what is in their child’s best interest first and foremost. To many times parents focus on the % of visitation as a means to an end for purposes of Child Support Calculations.

Family Code Section

	3100.  (a) In making an order pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 3080), the court shall grant reasonable visitation rights to a parent unless it is shown that the visitation would be detrimental to the best interest of the child. In the discretion of the court, reasonable visitation rights may be granted to any other person having an interest in the welfare of the child. 

Unsupervised vs. Supervised

Visitation can be either “supervised” or “unsupervised”. Typically, visitation for the parents is unsupervised visitation. However, when one parent is deemed a threat to the children the court will require that the visitation be supervised for a time until the court believes the threat is no longer present. In many cases, a court will order an evaluation with a Professional Psychologist or Psychiatrist to determine how issues of custody and visitation should be determined. The court can either order a 3111 evaluation or a 730 evaluation.

General California Child Visitation Information

In making a child custody order between the parents in California, the court must also grant the other (noncustodial) parent "reasonable visitation rights" . . . unless it is shown that visitation would be "detrimental to the best interest of the child." [Ca Fam § 3100(a)]

Because of the importance placed on "frequent and continuing contact" with both parents, an order completely withholding a parent's visitation privileges may issue only upon a finding that any form of visitation with the parent would be "detrimental" to the child's best interest. [Ca Fam § 3100(a)] If the custody order does not provide for parent visitation rights but does not expressly withhold such rights, the noncustodial parent has an implicit right to "reasonable visitation."

Trial courts generally have broad discretion in defining a parent's "reasonable visitation" rights and establishing a visitation schedule. Subject to a few statutory limitations (below), the sole guideline is the child's best interest (Ca Fam § 3100(a)).

Factors Considered By The Court In Making California Child Visitation Orders

In all cases, child visitation orders must accommodate the paramount policy of assuring the child's health, safety and welfare and, to the extent consistent therewith, the policy preference for "frequent and continuing contact with both parents", except where such contact would not be in the child's best interest pursuant to the Ca Fam § 3011 factors. [Ca Fam § 3020]

Beyond this general framework, courts consider such practical matters as the child's age, maturity and special needs, parent's physical proximity to the child's primary residence and, where appropriate, the child's own preference.

At ARCHER & ASSOCIATES we aggressively defend our clients’ rights to ensure they receive the correct type of custody and visitation with their children.

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