Child Visitation in Orange County, CA

father spending time with daughterThe Orange County family court usually sets up child visitation at the same time custody orders are issued. During an Orange County divorce proceeding, visitation agreements are one of the main items that need to be agreed upon for couples who have children. Child Visitation agreements are also utilized in legal separation and paternity actions.

Usually when one parent is awarded sole physical custody, reasonable visitation rights will be award to the other parent. The exception to this would be where visitation could be harmful or detrimental to the child’s best interests: for example the non-custodial parent has some drug or alcohol issues to straighten out. In such situations where it is not advisable for the child to be left alone with a non-custodial parent, the that parent’s attorney might request and the court will consider if ‘supervised-visitation’ would be acceptable.

Visitation Schedules

In joint physical custody situations, the purpose of setting a visitation schedule is to concretely specify the times the child “visits” with the mother and times when the child “visits” with the father.

It is not sufficient for most family courts to simply issue a court order on physical sole-custody or joint-custody. An agreed visitation schedule will specify “visits” for the following days and events:

  • Major holidays: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, etc.
  • Minor holidays: President’s day, Columbus Day, Martin-Luther King Day,etc.
  • Family Birthdays: child’s & sibling birthdays, mother’s birthday & father’s birthday.
  • Spring break from school.
  • Winter break from school.
  • Summer break from school.

Visitation orders often include specificity for the following day-to-day issues:

  • Drop-off and pick-up locations – a neutral public spot, or one or the other parent’s home.
  • Flexibility to slightly alter the visitation schedule – to accommodate a parent working late, child’s sports practice, etc.
  • Flexible window of time – for drop-off and pick-up, with reasonable consequences so as to encourage being on-time and in-compliance with visitation agreement.
  • Written rules specify – how a parent is able “make up” missed visits or time slots.
  • Right of first refusal – this is where a non-custodial parent is first person asked to fill-in in the event custodial parent needs daycare assistance or to fill in as an unscheduled baby-sitter.
  • Illnesses of child or parents – how illness might affect missed school days.

Visitation May Include Non-Parents

child visitation can include grandparentsVisitation rights may be extended to persons other than the parents if the court agrees that they have a substantial interest in the welfare of the children; they do not have to be related by blood. Visitation rights in certain circumstances may be granted to:

  • Grandparents
  • Stepparents

Visitation Agreements Must Be Adhered To

Once we’ve created a visitation schedule that is agreed to, it is important to adhere to the agreement. If you fail to adhere to your visitation agreement, that could be grounds for the other parent to request the court to reevaluation or modification of your entire child custody arrangement.

Orange County Child Visitation attorney, Ed Fahlen, works diligently to assist his clients in roughing out and then agreeing to a visitation schedule that will prove to be in the best interest of the children while still his client’s goals.


Free Introductory Meeting

Orange County Divorce Attorney Edwin FahlenI encourage you to reach out to make that free introductory meeting with me by calling (714) 395-5669. There is absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Typically, people will want to sit down with a divorce attorney to discuss their current circumstance and to learn of their options. I am pleased to offer this complementary legal service to residents of Orange County and beyond.

If it is late at night or inconvenient to call me, please email me using my CONTACT US form on the left side of the screen. This form comes directly to my desk. I will contact you the minute I see it.

Conveniently located in Fountain Valley

We are located off the 405 Freeway. Here is a picture of my office building and a Google Map to get your bearings.

Law Offices of Edwin Fahlen