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Ventura Child Custody Lawyer

Child Visitation Rights in Ventura County, Oxnard & Surrounding Areas

Just because your family dynamic changed after a divorce or separation does not mean you cannot see your child anymore. A child custody order and visitation order, or parenting time as it is called in California, establishes how this dynamic will work.

Child custody and visitation orders can still get complicated, though. It is helpful to seek the counsel of an experienced family law attorney in Ventura who will know your rights as a parent and work to protect them.

Reach out online or call us at (805) 222-7818 to speak with our child custody lawyers

How Child Custody/Visitation Orders Are Determined in Ventura

California grants child custody to either one parent or allows each parent to share custody. It is important to note that a judge has the final decision about child custody orders. Still, he/she will typically approve an arrangement the parents have agreed on. If this is not possible, the judge will determine a child custody issue in court.

What are Child Custody Orders

The court will grant a child custody order based on the best interest of the child standard.

Additional factors will aid in the child custody decision-making process, including, but not limited to:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s physical and mental health
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to care and provide for the child
  • The child’s accustomed style of living
  • If one parent has a history of substance or domestic abuse

To understand how child custody orders are determined, you should understand the type of custody orders available: physical and legal custody.

Physical custody

Physical custody refers to where the child will reside and who will provide the child with day-to-day care. Physical custody is either granted as joint, meaning shared between the parents, or sole physical custody, which is granted to one parent.

It is very difficult to split joint custody time exactly half the time with each parent, so it is common for one parent to have more time with the child than the other. This parent is called the primary custodial parent.

If one parent is awarded sole physical custody, the other will usually be granted visitation rights.

Legal custody

Legal custody refers to who will make decisions regarding important elements of the child’s life. These decisions could be related to education, healthcare, religious beliefs/influence, and/or extracurricular activities. A parent can be granted joint or sole legal custody.

Parents who have joint legal custody do not necessarily have to agree on every decision related to their child. However, they should communicate their wants and do their best to cooperate.

Can a Parent Deny Visitation?

For the custodial parent to deny the non-custodial parent visitation, they would need to provide evidence to the court that they pose a threat to the child. Keep in mind, simply not liking how the other parent spends their visitation time is not considered a valid reason to revoke a parent's right.

Can a Child Deny Visitation?

Children cannot deny visitation from the non-custodial parent if the court has made it an official order. However, the court may be sympathetic with teenagers, especially if they have valid reason. The best thing to do with your child who is refusing visitation is to document the incident. Be sure to notify the non-custodial parent immediately and as appropriately as possible.

At What Age Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

On January 1, 2012, California AB 1050 amended the family code by adding that the judge must also consider the child’s wishes regarding visitation. A child who is at least 14 years of age must be allowed to directly address the court regarding custody and visitation issues, unless the judge finds that it would not be in the child’s best interests to do so, whereby the reasons must be stated on the record.

Finally, the California Legislature has come to its senses in realizing that children are people too. But they are never adults – and should never be treated as such.

How to Prove a Parent Unfit

If you suspect that your divorced spouse is unfit to share custody of your child(ren), then you may request a court order to evaluate this claim. This is a serious claim, as it suggests that he or she puts the child’s well-being at risk. There are several factors that the court will examine when determining someone to be unfit:

  • What is the level of involvement that the parent has shown in the child’s life?
  • Are there limit-settings that are age-appropriate? For example, are there restrictions put in place that prohibit the child(ren) from watching R-rated material?
  • Does the parent have a mental illness that is inhibiting them from carrying out their role as guardian?
  • How well does the parent communicate with the other parent? Do they handle conflict well?
  • Is there a current or previous history of substance or alcohol abuse?
  • Has the parent provided a safe living environment for the child(ren)?

If necessary, the court may have an evaluator step in to observe the parent with the children, or to interview anyone associated with their lives. These interviewees may include teachers, therapists, and others.

Visitation Orders

Visitation orders determine when, where, and how the parents will share time with their child. Visitation orders vary and the court utilizes the same child custody factors mentioned above to define what this time-sharing plan will be.

In California, parents can be granted four different types of visitation orders.

Visitation According to Schedule:

  • This details times and dates that the child will spend with each parent.

Reasonable Visitation:

  • These are open-ended orders that can be defined by the parents.

Supervised Visitation:

  • This order requires that visiting time be supervised by the other spouse or a professional.

No Visitation:

  • No visitation means visiting time is not granted to a parent as doing so would go against the best interest of the child.

Contact Our Ventura Child Custody & Visitation Attorneys Today

You want the best for your child. Let us help you with your child custody and visitation orders to ensure you can maintain this standard. Do not hesitate to contact us; here, you are family to us as well.

Reach out online or call us at (805) 222-7818 to learn more about our child custody and visitation services.

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Helping Families in Ventura Through Life's Difficult Choices

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  • Holistic Approach

    We aim to resolve conflict so you and your family can move on peacefully. We approach all aspects of a case, including the emotional, financial, and mental components, and advocate with you throughout.

  • Collaboration

    Collaborative divorce can be a great option for spouses looking to share joint custody of their child/children and the court looks favorably on this decision. When possible, we strive to come to a resolution that will benefit both spouses.

  • Children Come First

    We respect the fact that our clients trust us with important life-decisions. We strive to be as understanding and empathetic as we can with you and treat you like we would treat a close family member.

  • Compassionate Legal Services

    We respect the fact that our clients trust us with important life-decisions. We strive to be as understanding and empathetic as we can with you and treat you like we would treat a close family member.