Pakpour Banks LLP provides legal services in to individuals involved in visitation or parenting time disputes.

At the outset, the word “Visitation” is, in most cases, a misnomer. Most parents don’t “visit” their children. They take responsibility of them for a period of time. That is why today many practitioners and judges will more accurately refer to this part of a family case as “parenting time.” In other words, the issue involves exactly how much time each party will be “parenting” his or her children.

The options for arranging parenting time are as numerous as there are variations in families. Most visitation arrangements are unsupervised. However, in some cases, typically those involving conflict or drug abuse, visitation may be supervised. There are also different options for supervised visitation.

The parenting time provisions may also control how the children are exchanged, who may be present when the children are in the care of either parent, or how far the parents may travel with the children.

Parenting plans may also consider:

  • holiday and vacation schedules
  • what to do if a parent moves, or stipulations that prohibit the parent from moving too far away without good and proper cause
  • a statement detailing who will attend extra-curricular activities and who will pay for them
  • a first right of refusal clause so that the other parent will be the first in line to take care of the child if unexpected childcare is needed
  • an agreement on how to approach any future modifications to the parenting plan
  • plans for future dispute resolutions, as needed.

To see even more options regarding parenting time, visit the Web site for the Judicial Branch of the California Courts, which contains several forms attorneys and litigants complete to request custody and visitation orders (see forms FL-341, and FL-341(A)-(E)). The forms contain a ton of different options parents can choose from.

No matter how you and the other party agree on parenting, the critical factor may be that you agree at all. A visitation arrangement agreed to in good faith by both parties will more likely stand the test of time than one ordered by a judge.