When going through a divorce in Santa Clara, parents often have questions about the rules surrounding child custody and visitation. Generally, it is difficult to have the courts refuse to grant a non-custodial parent any visitation privileges. It is thought to be in the child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents if at all possible.
A parent suffering from a mental illness will not automatically have his or her visitation rights denied. The same rule applies for a parent who is known to abuse alcohol or drugs. There needs to be specific evidence that the parent’s conduct poses a risk to the child’s safety. Even a parent who is currently incarcerated will not automatically be denied all visitation rights. Supervised visitation is the most common solution for these types of issues. Supervised visitation means that a trained social worker or other professional with experience in child custody disputes will be present during the non-custodial parent’s scheduled visitation times.
Non-marital sexual relationships are not considered grounds for denying visitation, regardless of how you feel about your ex’s new lover. Overnight visits may be denied if the court feels the relationship has an adverse impact on the child, however.
Stuttering, bed wetting, sleep disturbances, poor school performance, and other signs of emotional difficulties can be considered reasons to limit a non-custodial parent’s visitation rights, although a professional assessment will likely be needed to determine if visitation is contributing to these issues. Many children have trouble adjusting to a divorce regardless of visitation schedules.
Lack of employment does not mean a parent can be denied visitation rights. Payment of child support and visitation privileges are two separate issues in a divorce proceeding.
Worries about child abduction can be grounds for denying visitation if there is evidence your ex is considering taking your child. It is more likely that the court will order supervised visitation or visitation that takes place in a public location, however.
Courts will sometimes consider a child’s wishes in determining visitation rights for non-custodial parents, although this depends on the child’s age, his or her maturity, and other factors affecting the case. A divorce lawyer with experience in Santa Clara family law can provide additional insight into this issue.