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The 4 Types of Custody Recognized in the State of California

Posted on: April 24, 2017

The 4 Types of Custody Recognized in the State of California

Should every parent have the right to see their child? Should they have the right to spend time with them? What if the parent in question was found unfit by the courts and is not currently eligible for physical custody? Should they have rights? The courts in California – and throughout the country – generally find that it’s best for parents to have contact with both parents if possible.

That said, the law also recognizes that not every case is the same and that the primary job of the state is to ensure the children are kept safe. That’s why there are different types of custody. If you’re divorcing or separating from the co-parent of your child, then you should take the time to understand the four types of custody that California recognizes. Read on to learn about it and then reach out to Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP at 909-482-1422 to set up a consultation.

1. Reasonable visitation

If the parents get along well, have not found to be abusive or negligent toward their child, and agree to work together, then reasonable visitation may be used. Essentially, this is an open-ended option that allows parents to figure out a visitation schedule between themselves. This is often the ideal for people because it allows flexibility. For example, if the parents have agreed that their child will be with the father on a particular weekend, but he gets called out of town, the mother can simply take the child without having to get court approval.

Reasonable visitation is only an option for parents who get along. At Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP, we have seen cases that start out with more structured visitation schedules but once they get used to the difficulties of sharing custody, they are able to figure out a schedule on their own and move to reasonable visitation.

2. Visitation according to a specific schedule

If parents don’t get along then they may create a schedule that’s approved by the courts. In some cases, the parents can work with their attorneys to negotiate the schedule. In other cases, particularly when the custodial parent doesn’t want the non-custodial parent to have any rights of visitation, the courts may have to set up a specific schedule. If either parent doesn’t adhere to it then they could be facing contempt of court charges.

3. Supervised visitation

In the event a parent has proven unreliable or otherwise incapable of being alone with their child, then supervised visitation may be required. Depending on the specifics, the custodial parent may be the one supervising the visit. In other cases, a state-appointed person may be responsible for supervising visitation.

4. No visitation

Technically this isn’t a type of visitation but is rather a type of non-visitation. This is issued by the courts if one parent has been proven to be an addict, is a danger to the child, or has serious psychological problems. In extreme cases, like those of abuse, no visitation decisions may be for life but more often they be reassessed if the non-custodial parent makes demonstrable changes to their life.

These are four of the ways a person can have custody of a child. If you’re struggling with any type of family law complication then we welcome you to call Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP at 909-482-1422 right away. We can help you move forward but you must take the first step.

Kristina Kendall-Gkikas
Kendall & Gkikas LLP
143 N. Harvard Avenue, 2nd Floor
Claremont, CA, 91711 USA