Parent’s rights include the right to have an attorney as a representative, visitation rights, and the provision of reunification services. Problems involving your rights as a parent need the assistance of an attorney who is experienced in family law. Here in Sacramento, the Law Office of David A. Martin & Associates is able to sympathetically help you deal with any issues concerning your parent’s rights over your child or children.
Role of the Dependency Courts
It is only mothers and the assumed fathers who are given entitlement to all rights given to parents when it comes to dependency cases involving children. The aim of a dependency court is not only to protect the child, but also to uphold the family unit. A parent has the right to hold custody of his/her child and would only ever be interrupted in a serious situation.
Normally, a child can be taken away from a parent’s custody only if the court is offered definite evidence that the child may be open to significant danger and there is no way of protecting the child.
In the event of a child being removed from a parent, that parent can visit the child as often as possible. The court makes the orders concerning visitation rights and no one else, including a social worker, can make any independent decision.
When a child is taken away from custody by a parent, the court will normally direct reunification services to bring the family back together. In any extreme case reunification will not be directed. There are specific time limits that range from six to eighteen months when the parent has to undertake court ordered programs in order to get back custody of the child, otherwise the child may be put up for adoption.
When forming a child custody order for one of the parents in California, the court has to also ensure the other parent has fair visitation rights, unless of course it has been identified that any visitation would not be in the best interests of the child.
There is great importance emphasized on the frequent and long lasting contact for a child with both parents and when a parent’s visitation rights are withdrawn it is only because the parent visiting the child could be detrimental. If the custody order fails to provide visitation rights for the other parent but also does not hold back the right, the non custodial parent has the right to spend a reasonable amount of time with the child.
The court, when considering visitation rights, may also look at the child’s actual age, maturity level, and any special needs as well as the parent’s physical distance to the child’s main residence.
When visitation rights are granted, there is no bias favoring any particular sexual preference or religious beliefs or the sort of lifestyle the parent leads unless it might be seriously damaging to the child.
A Child’s Refusal to Visit
Ordering a visitation is dependent on the custodial parent’s capability of ensuring the child is made available for the visitation. A custodial parent most likely has enough control over a younger child to make the child see the other parent in relation to the court order requirements. If the custodial parent fails to follow the order then he or she is committing a punishable offence.