For cases involving minor children, establishing a custody & visitation plan that is in the best interest of the children is of paramount importance to the courts. Unfortunately, parents do not always see eye-to-eye in this area, and the process of resolving a dispute between parents concerning their custody arrangement can be extremely trying – from both an emotional, legal and cost standpoint.
The policy of the state of California is to provide minor children with “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents. Visitation may be curtailed, supervised (monitored), or, in extreme cases, denied, if contact with the non-custodial parent would be harmful to the child. An example of an extreme case would be a situation involving an incarcerated parent. Courts will generally not order a minor child to be brought to a jail or prison for visitation with an incarcerated parent.
The court system encourages parents to work out a visitation schedule mutually agreeable to both parents, keeping in mind the best interests of their children. Work and school schedules should be considered, as well as holiday times, birthdays, and summer vacation. One “typical” visitation schedule allows the non-custodial parent visitation every other weekend from Friday to Sunday nights, with at least one-over-night visit during the week in weeks in which there is no weekend visitation. Another typical custody schedule, depending on the age of the child(ren) and the availability of their parents, is a 50-50 equal parenting plan, commonly known as a 2-2-5 or a week ? Birthdays and holidays should be shared equally and are usually rotated on an annual basis absent of an agreement of the parties. The children should be with their Mother on Mother’s Day, and with their Father on Father’s Day. The visitation schedule should also provide for some amount of uninterrupted vacation time with each parent during the summer and extended vacation periods such as the Christmas/Winter break.
The Law Offices of William P. Glavin has significant experience in the area of child custody litigation and has helped numerous parents – and their children – resolve these disputes both outside of, and through the court process. Working with families and mental health professionals, our firm has ensured that the best interests of children – the innocent victims of these disputes – have been protected and that appropriate parenting plans implemented where appropriate to maximize reasonable, frequent and continued contact of the child(ren) with both parents when possible.