Visitation Agreements and Scheduling in San Diego, CA

Establishing a parenting plan is one of the critical components of ensuring that life for your child remains as stable as possible following your divorce. It should always be your goal to bring that stability to your child’s life, but it is sometimes easier said than done. Often, emotions get in the way of the kinds of behaviors that truly ought to shine through. This is why courts frequently have to get involved with setting up a parenting plan. If you are concerned that your rights and interests are not being properly protected, then you need to get an attorney and make sure that you can turn this around. 

Big Decisions Related to the Visitation Agreement 

Major decisions must be made by parents for their children. That is how it has always been, and that is the way that it should continue to be. There are two big things that must be hashed out in a parenting agreement. They are: 

  • Time-Sharing – The division of time that the child spends with each parent is important to spell out. Not only is this a good idea from a legal perspective, but it simply makes sense to get both parents on board with the concept of shared custody of their child. After all, they need to collaborate on a plan to ensure their child gets to see both parents roughly the same amount (depending on circumstances).
  • Decision-Making – It is best when both parents are on board with making major decisions in the life of their child. For example, when should the child begin to date, drive, or do a number of other activities that parents typically discuss together with their child. The agreement should try to lay out how those types of decisions will be made by the parents as well. 

Factors to Consider for Your Parenting Plan

It is often the case that parents are taken aback by the number of decisions that they need to make to ensure the well-being of their child. Day-to-day, we don’t necessarily think about these things that often. However, when the divorce process kicks into gear, it can suddenly become very necessary to think about various factors that directly impact your child’s life. You need to make some critical decisions on their behalf very quickly, and you do not want to leave anything to chance. 

Think about a few of the following considerations and how they need to be determined by a parenting plan immediately: 

  • Who takes the child to a doctor when he or she is sick? 
  • Who handles after-school activities? 
  • What kind of flexibility is there going to be in the parenting plan to allow for one-off situations? 

The California Courts government website recommends the following advice about how to structure parenting plans: 

Also, be flexible. For example, if a child is not feeling well when it is time to go to the other parent’s house, think about what would be best for your child. Clearly, the age of the child and the seriousness of the illness need to be taken into account. Also, the distance between the 2 homes will be a major factor in decision-making.

It is certainly no always easy to remain completely rational and cooperative with someone that we might feel less than charitably about, but we still need to try to do this for the sake of the children. 

Are Parenting Plans Enforceable? 

Yes! Parenting plans are a legal document that is enforceable. They are NOT merely suggestions or a rough outline of what each parent should do for their child. Rather, they are an agreement that the parents have come to, or that a court has discharged that must be followed. 

If one parent or the other violates the agreement, it can be grounds for taking that person to court and doing what is necessary to get the court to enforce the guidelines established in the document. 

Should You Get a Lawyer for Your Parenting Plan? 

Ideally, you should get a lawyer to help you establish your parenting plan from the start. Also, you may need a law to force the hand of the other parent if they violate the agreement. Hopefully it will never come to that, but it is possible that you might find yourself in a situation where you need to get a lawyer to help you out. 

Experienced in These Matters

A big upside of hiring an attorney is that he or she will likely have worked on these types of cases in the past. They will know what the court expects as far as the presentation of the case and other factors that are relevant to your case. They can guide you through the steps you should take to get to the kind of results that you need from your case. Then, you can have some peace of mind that you have done everything in your power to manage your case and take care of the details.

An Advocate on Your Side

No matter what, your attorney is always going to be your biggest advocate. It is the role and responsibility of your attorney to make sure your interests are put at the top of their agenda. They practice what they preach, and they will work diligently to ensure that you get a fair shot at being represented in court in a manner that bodes well in your favor. 

A Chance to Avoid the Courtroom

Finally, a lawyer is a useful asset in these cases because he or she might be able to keep your case out of a courtroom. That is to say that your attorney can negotiate with the other side to try to come to a resolution that works for everyone. It often happens with these cases that people get fairly entrenched in their positions, but some decent negotiation might be enough to work out something that is appealing to all sides. 

Whether you are trying to get custody of the child, to be able to write a visitation agreement, a third-party child custody or Intrastate Custody Agreements, getting a lawyer can be in your favor. The lawyer will know exactly how to present your case in family court in the best possible light, thus increasing your chances for custody or visitation.

Contact our lawyers at to learn more about getting sole or joint custody of your child.

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