There are two important legal perspectives to keep in mind as you approach discussions regarding a parenting plan. The primary concern of California Family Law as it relates to a parenting plan is the best interests of the child. The best question you can ask yourself and a potential co-parent as you work through this process is “What is in the best interests of (your child’s name)?”
The second presumption of California Family Law is that it is in the child’s best interest to have regular contact and quality time with both parents.
The next two concepts you will need to understand when beginning a parenting plan in a Carlsbad divorce are “custody” and “visitation (parenting time).” There are two types of legal custody: physical and legal. Physical custody is the right to have a child live under your roof. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions in a child’s life including health care, education and religious practices.
Visitation, more often referred to as parenting time, relates to the manner in which each child will spend time with each parent during and after a divorce. The most common arrangement is “scheduled visitation” which is comprised of a formal, written schedule detailing how the child will move between households and how important dates such as holidays, birthdays and vacations will be managed.
Our Courts may consider “reasonable visitation” if both of a child’s parents have clearly demonstrated their ability to amicably work together and co-parent while keeping the child’s best interests central to every decision. There is no formal schedule in reasonable visitation scenarios. In these cases, the co-parents work together on a regular basis to flexibly manage and blend the schedules of parents and child.
Supervised visitation is ordered when the Judge believes a child’s physical or emotional safety would be at risk if the child and a parent were unattended. This is often the case in the presence of domestic violence or when a parent is considered to be a flight risk (take the child out of the area, state or country).
If you are beginning a parenting plan in a Carlsbad divorce you will need sound advice and counsel from the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.