With all of the baggage that can come with a divorce, stumbling upon an issue with visitation rights can only add to the long list of stressors. Although a large majority of divorcing parents opt for a court ruling or manage to determine a custody plan, countless Californians nevertheless struggle to find a balanced schedule for everyone involved.

In addition to the custody obstacles that a divorce can create, some parents face visitation violations from an ex-spouse that can become especially damaging. What are the options when it comes to these pressing predicaments, and are there any preventative steps parents can take to minimize the chance of a visitation battle down the road?

Knowing the Law

California Courts offers a rundown of the state’s child custody and visitation laws on its website, showing four different types of visitation offered to parents: scheduled visitation, reasonable visitation, supervised visitation and no visitation. As for schedule-oriented visitation, parents usually provide detailed schedules to avoid conflicts. Courts may determine appropriate visitation times so that each parent receives appropriate visitation. Reasonable visitations may not always involve a schedule, and instead may allow parents to move about a visitation plan more freely. Supervised visitation involves the supervision of another parent, adult or agency in cases where a child’s safety is of concern. In extreme cases, courts may decide not to allow visitation between a parent and child entirely.

Handling Violations

Resource Focus on the Family shares additional information on visitation violations, differing parental values and other potentially tricky aspects of divorce. When a visitation problem arises, Focus on the Family urges parents to maintain records of all visitation times. Offering options to exes can also open the door to a smoother process. If a situation persists, parents may choose to hire a parenting coordinator, use a mediator or take other forms of legal action.