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Family Law
Family Law

Newport Beach Child Visitation Lawyers

Experienced Child Visitation Lawyers in Newport Beach, CA

Visitation rights are an important issue to consider as a parent or grandparent. In California, visitation is also referred to as “parenting time,” and the agreements parents create regarding custody and visitation are referred to as “parenting plans.” As with other family law matters involving children, the goal is to come to an amicable arrangement; however, if tensions arise, you need a fierce family lawyer that will fight for you.

The court will put the child’s needs first when ruling on visitation matters and will consider the child’s well-being when reviewing proposed parenting plans. With nearly 50 years of experience in family law, our Newport Beach child visitation lawyers at Sullivan Law & Associates are here to help and guide you through your case. 

Whether you want to pursue parenting time with your child, need to challenge a visitation request, or are a grandparent who wishes to establish or keep a meaningful relationship with your grandchild, our child visitation attorneys in Orange County can advise you on how to protect your and your child’s best interests. Call Sullivan Law & Associates today at (949) 590-8100 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our child visitation lawyers.

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How to File for Child Visitation In California

If you are the legal parent of a child and have unsuccessfully reached an agreement concerning visitation arrangements with the child’s other parent, you have two options for how to proceed. First, you and the other parent may work with a mediator who can strive to help you reach an agreement. Alternatively, you can file a petition with the court to give you an order that grants you visitation.

To file for visitation through the court, you will need to complete a petition form. You will be required to include some personal information, such as the names and addresses of the parties, as well as the specific visitation rights you are seeking. You will then need to file the petition with the county clerk. 

During the visitation hearing, you and the child’s other parent will have the opportunity to present your case, providing the judge with evidence and witness testimonies. After the judge reviews all the evidence, the court will make a ruling based on the best interest of your child. The court will then issue a visitation order with guidelines that both parties must comply with.

Child Custody & Visitation Laws in California

The concept of visitation is intertwined with custody. A more effective approach is to consider custody labels, which encompass physical custody and legal custody.

  • Physical custody refers to the actual physical placement of the child and the amount of time they spend with each parent. Visitation, on the other hand, is the specific allocation of time that each parent spends with the child. In essence, visitation falls under the umbrella of physical custody, encompassing the time and interaction between the child and each parent.
  • Legal custody refers to the authority to make decisions concerning the child’s well-being, encompassing aspects such as their healthcare, education, religious upbringing, attire, and more. It entails the responsibility of ensuring the child’s health, welfare, and safety, allowing for thoughtful and informed choices in their best interests.

Visitation is restricted to physical custody and primarily determined by a test of the child’s best interests. These factors, known as “best interest factors,” encompass various considerations such as:

  • Who is the primary caretaker of the child
  • What is the degree of nurturing
  • How much of a bond does either parent have with the child

Factors such as alcoholism, domestic violence, and more, are carefully considered by the court when determining the allocation of parenting time for the children.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When Is Parenting Time in a Child’s Best Interests?

The “best interests of the child” is a phrase you will hear many times in any custody or visitation case. In granting parenting time or approving a parenting plan, the court may consider:

  • Each parent’s ability to provide a safe environment for the child
  • Depending on the child’s age, his or her preferences and wishes
  • The impact visitation will have on a child’s education and normal routine
  • Any existing custody or visitation arrangement or agreement
  • Each parent’s history of drug use, alcohol abuse, or domestic violence

In some cases, the court may award supervised visitation or may deny visitation altogether. With modern technology, there is also the possibility of virtual visitation, via webcam, video phone, or computer software. 

When you work with a child visitation lawyer at our firm, you have the benefit of our experienced legal representation as we assert your rights as a parent or grandparent. Your well-being is important to our team, and one of our child visitation attorneys will work closely with you to identify and achieve your goals.

What Age Can a Child Refuse Visitation in California?

In most cases, a court will listen to a child’s preference for visitation if the child is 14 years or older. There are some exceptions to this rule in situations where the court believes that it is not in the best interest of the child to listen to his or her wishes. When the child is under the age of 14, a judge must decide whether or not it is in the child’s best interest to take into consideration their preference.

Do I Have The Right To Know Where My Child Is During Visitation?

In the absence of a court order, it is generally not within your rights to be aware of your child’s whereabouts during visitation. According to California law, consent from both parties is necessary before resorting to wiretapping, GPS tracking, or other location-tracking devices. 

Violating the rights and privacy of the other parent would be against the law. However, if the other parent intends to take the child out of state during their designated parenting time, they may be required to seek your permission beforehand.

Contact Our Child Visitation Lawyers in Newport Beach

Understandably, you may have concerns about your child being exposed to third parties or the custodial parent relocating the child without your knowledge. To address this, you can request the court to impose restrictions on your child’s visitation order. The judge will carefully consider your request and evaluate how granting it would impact the child’s well-being and overall welfare.

Regardless of how you and the other party come to an agreement on parenting, the crucial factor is that you reach an agreement. A visitation arrangement that is mutually agreed upon in good faith is more likely to withstand the test of time compared to one imposed by a judge. 

Our child visitation attorneys in Newport Beach are here to assist you in developing a parenting plan that is in the best interest of you and your child. Dealing with a child visitation issue? Contact Sullivan Law & Associates today at (949) 590-8100 or online to protect your parental rights.

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