In California, visitation is an issue that is dealt with during a child custody proceeding. Divorces can take an emotional toll on children and therefore, despite having to live apart, California law tends to encourage both parents to have the ability to spend time with the child and maintain a relationship with the child. All in all, custody and visitation rights rights in California are primarily concerned with putting the child first.
When a child lives with one parent most of the time, it is said that the other parent has visitation. Sometimes, a judge may give both parents joint legal custody of the child, but not joint physical custody. This means that both parents have the right to make important decisions regarding the child's health, welfare and education, but the child physically lives with only one parent the majority of the time. There are three types of visitation orders that a judge may give:
Advances in modern-day technology are allowing for creative ways to accommodate visitation between parents. Virtual visitation is one method which allows parent and child to visit via webcam, video phone or computer software. Although certainly a significant step away from the typical visitation where a parent picks up or drops off a child at another parent's home for a visit, this may be a valuable option for parent and children who are no longer in close proximity, or where work and school schedules make standard visitation difficult to arrange.
Problems and legal issues with this form of visitation are yet to make themselves fully known, but this is but one of the tools available that can help promote family ties in the absence of the personal presence of a parent.
Consider speaking with a California child custody lawyer if you have additional questions about visitation rights in California or need counsel.
Contact a qualified attorney.