Davis Visitation Lawyers Representing Northern California
- Pakpour Banks is based in Davis, CA, and is proudly serving Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, Roseville, Elk Grove, and surrounding areas.
- Our team has been successfully representing cases in Yolo County, Sacramento County, Solano County, Placer County, Colusa County, El Dorado County, and Yuba County.
Pakpour Banks LLP provides legal services to individuals involved in visitation or parenting time disputes. Our California visitation lawyer has helped with all types of family disputes. We are here to help you when you’re working out a parenting plan for you and your child.
At the outset, the word “visitation” is, in most cases, a misnomer. Most parents don’t “visit” their children. They take responsibility for 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 legal practitioners 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.
At What Age Can a Child Refuse Visitation?
Under California Family Law, the court must consider the child’s wishes if the child is 14 years old or older. The court may consider the wishes of a child younger than 14 if they are “of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation.” If the child expresses an opinion, the child’s wishes do not determine custody. The court will consider the child’s wishes as one factor in determining what is in the child’s best interest. To decide if the child’s expressed wishes align with what is in their best interest, a judge may ask:
- What is the reason the child wants to live with that parent?
- How stable and reliable is the parent the child wants to live with?
- What is the level of the child’s social maturity and emotional and intellectual development?
- Has someone pressured or manipulated the child into stating a preference?
Once a visitation order is in place, the parent has a right to visitation. The other parent or the child (if under 18) cannot refuse visitation. If a child misses visitation due to an emergency or other unusual circumstance, you may need to arrange a make-up visit.
If the child is refusing visitation for a reason that concerns their safety, a parent could seek a temporary restraining order on an emergency basis until a court can address the concern. The court will modify a visitation order only if there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the order was made.
Do I Have the Right to Know Where My Child Is During Visitation?
Without a court order, you do not generally have the right to know where your child is during visitation. California law requires both parties to consent before using wiretapping, GPS tracking, or other location-tracking devices. Otherwise, you would be violating that parent’s rights and privacy.
However, if the other parent plans to take the child out of the state during their parent-time, they may be required to obtain your permission first.
You may be concerned about your child seeing a third party or the custodial parent removing the child from the jurisdiction without your knowledge. In that case, you should request that the court put restrictions on your child visitation order. The judge will consider your request and how granting it would affect the health and welfare of the child.
California Visitation Attorney at Pakpour Banks LLP: Here To Help With Your Parenting Plan
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. Our California visitation attorneys can help you work out a parenting plan that is best for your child. Contact Pakpour Banks LLP today and let us help you reach an agreement for visitation or parenting time with your children after your divorce.