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Basics of child custody and visitation orders

In California, a judge makes the last decision regarding child custody and visitation. However, they will often approve the arrangement that both parties agree on. The two types of child custody are legal and physical. Both custody orders may be joint or sole. Legal custody is where the parent has the right to make crucial decisions regarding the child. On the other hand, physical custody regards where the children live and visitation matters.

Visitation refers to the plan that the parents come up with to share time with their children. There are four types of visitation orders, and they include: visitation based on a schedule, supervised visitation, reasonable visitation and no visitation.

When deciding on the custody and visitation, the law considers what is best for the child. For instance, they may decide based on the child’s age, health and relationship with each parent. The judge also gives orders when it comes to child support regardless of who is the custodian.

Parents may negotiate and agree on the child’s custody and visitation. In cases where the parties disagree, they might require a court order. The judge could also opt to send both parties to a mediator. If the disagreements persist, the judge decides on the custody and visitation schedule.

There are cases where one or both parents may want to change the child custody and visitation order. If both parents agree on a change, the process is quite simple; the judge simply approves the new order. If one parent asks for a change, they will have to present a good reason. The parents may also consider contacting an attorney who can assist them in negotiating the child custody and visitation schedule. To avoid future disputes, both parents should also ensure that they include vacations and holidays in the plan.