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What you should know about visitation in California

If you have a child with someone to whom you are not married, you will almost certainly have a parenting plan in place. These plans detail a number of things, the most important being the custody and visitation plan. Below are a few basic facts about visitation of which parents in California should be aware.

Visitation refers to how parents share time with kids.

In most cases, parents will share parenting time with their children, as it is typically in a child's best interests to spend meaningful time with each parent. Some parents share equal custody; many split it unequally. In the latter cases, the parent with less than 50 percent custody has visitation. 

There is more than one kind of visitation.

Visitation on a schedule is essentially exchanging custody according to a predetermined plan. Reasonable visitation does not involve a plan; it is an open-ended arrangement allowing both parents to be flexible and figure things out together. Supervised visitation is visitation that must be supervised by another adult party.

The amount of visitation awarded depends on many factors.

Custody and visitation determinations are not arbitrary or subject to exact calculations. Rather, the courts will consider things like a child's age, the relationship between the child and each parent, the ability of each parent to provide care, and several other factors that indicate what is in the best interests of the child. It is also possible for parents to work out an agreement themselves outside of court.

Having a plan in place and enforcing it is critical.

Custody and visitation schedules are crucial to preserving parenting rights and relationships with their children, as well as protecting the best interests of the kids involved. Because of this, it is essential that parents understand their plan and comply with it at all times. Failure to do so can lead to serious consequences, including potential loss of parenting time.

If you have any questions or concerns about visitation, it would be wise to consult your attorney as soon as possible.

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