If a judge says that a California divorced parent is entitled to reasonable visitation, it means that he or she and the other parent may work out a plan. This is preferred because it allows the parents to come up with a schedule that meets their needs. However, the custodial parent may have greater leverage or influence over how the plan is structured.
The custodial parent is under no legal obligation to agree to any given schedule. However, that person has motivation to be flexible as it could make it less likely that he or she has future requests granted by the judge. Reasonable visitation plans are generally easier to create when both parents are able to communicate in a rational manner with each other. Those who are under a reasonable visitation plan that isn’t working anymore may ask a judge to allow a new plan to be created.
After a divorce, child custody may be a significant point of contention between both parents. However, the courts will ensure that the best interests of the children are met whether they are met voluntarily by the parents or through a court order. It is generally in an individual’s best interest to create a parenting plan without the need for a judge to intervene and create a strict schedule.
In general, it may be easier to stick to a schedule that takes into account work or other obligations. It may also help the children because they can be fairly confident when and where they will spend time with both parents. An attorney can often be of assistance in drafting such a plan.