It can be challenging to raise a child even when two parents are in a committed relationship. When divorce or separation happens, parents can struggle to understand what they should do to protect their children and help them transition into their new way of living. In California, both child custody and visitation are options for parents to maintain their relationships with their kids following the ends of their relationships with their co-parents.
Rights under child custody
When a parent has custody of their child following a divorce or separation, they have certain rights that can be enforced with regard to raising their child. Physical custody means that the child may live with them for some or all of the time following their separation or divorce. If a parent has legal custody, that means that they may be involved in decision-making processes for raising their child. Decisions regarding education, religion, healthcare, and other important issues fall on parents with legal custody of their children.
Legal and physical custody can be shared or given solely to one parent. When custody is shared, the parents must function according to a parenting plan and honor the rights of each other. When a parent may be a threat to their child, their co-parent may be granted sole custody to ensure the child’s health and wellness.
Rights under visitation
If a parent is denied custodial rights to their child following a divorce or separation, they may be able to secure visitation rights. Visitation allows a parent to spend time with their child on a schedule or under specific conditions. For example, if a parent does not have the capacity to ensure their child’s safety, they may be required to have their visitation time in the presence of a third-party neutral. Visitation is based on the needs of the child and the ability of the parent to provide secure environment for them.
Readers of this post should understand that child custody and visitation decisions will depend on the specific factors relevant and individual families. Individuals should not rely on the child custody outcomes of other cases to determine what may happen in their own. The help of family law and divorce attorneys can assist individuals with their child custody and visitation matters.