Continuing to care for and be a part of your children’s lives during a divorce may weigh heavily upon your mind as you maneuver through the legal proceedings of ending your marriage. You may even be worried that your ex-spouse might try to keep you from seeing your children. However, you may gain peace of mind by understanding who decides and creates child visitation schedules and by understanding your rights as a parent in these matters.
The Judicial Branch of California notes that a first effective step in deciding a child visitation schedule may be custody mediation. During these proceedings, a mediator can help you and your spouse discuss and resolve your opposing points of view regarding visitation schedules and avoid a lengthy court battle.
What happens if mediation fails?
If mediation fails, the responsibility of creating a visitation schedule will likely fall to your local court. A judge may review a number of factors before making a decision but keep the best interests of the children at the forefront. Other factors might include whether you or your ex-spouse will gain primary custody, the mental and physical health of each parent and the desires of the children, if they are old enough to voice their wishes.
Once the court makes its choice and if you do not agree with the outcome, you may want to ask your lawyer if you can dispute the decision. This could result in additional court visits or further mediation, but these actions may be worth your while when it comes to remaining an important part of your children’s lives once your marriage has ended.