Divorce is never easy for California couples and the difficulty is made worse when there are children involved. Children frequently get trapped in the middle between parents in dispute over various issues in the case. That includes custody, parenting time and child support.
Despite that and even with the possibility that the couple is on bad terms as the case proceeds, most will want the best for their kids. That means both will have a good relationship with the child.
The primary factor is the best interests of the child. Once it is decided which parent gets custody, parents should be aware of the parenting time options available so they can pursue the one that suits their needs and protects the child.
What are the four basic choices for parenting time?
Generally, parents will have four choices for parenting time. First, they can choose to have a schedule. This will say when the child is with the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent. It can include every part of the year from a regular school week to the times the child is off from school, religious holidays and special occasions. Some parents communicate better when they know precisely when parenting time will be.
Reasonable parenting time does not follow a strict schedule. For this type of plan, the parents likely need to be on good terms to make it a success. It requires flexibility and understanding. Even if there are disagreements, they should not let them linger.
Supervised parenting time is if the child is potentially at risk when with the other parent. This could be due to past substance abuse issues, allegations of wrongdoing or if the child simply does not know the parent that well. In extreme circumstances, there can be an order of no visitation if the child is in danger of abuse or the other parent is unfit.
Protecting children and forging a parenting plan may require legal help
Even cases in which the parents are on reasonably friendly terms can have acrimony. Dealing with children and disagreements about custody, parenting time and trying to forge workable solutions can be complicated.
Knowing the different parenting time orders available and picking the right one based on the individual needs can help everyone involved. Still, it is wise to have caring and qualified help that has more than a decade of experience in family law. From the start of a case, this should be a priority.