How Do I Change Visitation in California?

Your children have just come home from visitation with their other parent and related some disturbing details about the weekend. Or perhaps you learned through other channels that your children have been exposed to situations you believe to be inappropriate for children of their ages, or worse, dangerous to their health and well-being. Is there anything you can do without violating the visitation order? Most parents have an instinctive drive to protect their children from harm. The problem arises when one parent believes a situation or activity is harmful to the children, while the other parent does not. The difference of opinion may lead one parent to withhold visitation, which in turn can lead the other parent to ask the court for a finding of contempt. While every parent should protect their children from actual, imminent danger, the underlying question in a case where visitation has been withheld is what led the custodial parent to withhold visitation in the first place. In other words, would a judge agree that continued visitation under the circumstance is likely to be harmful to the children? Will you be able to adequately defend your actions if you withhold visitation? A better course of action, if you believe visitation with the other parent is harmful to your children, is to be proactive: Take your case to court before violating the visitation order if possible. The general rule is that a California court will allow visitation in every case unless it would be physically or emotionally harmful to the children. Thus, if you want visitation suspended, you must be prepared to show evidence that the children have and will suffer physical or emotional harm if visitation continues. If your situation is urgent, we may be able to help you get an ex parte order, which is in the nature of an emergency order, and is the quickest way to get temporary court approval to withhold visitation. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we receive calls regularly from parents on both sides of this issue. If you believe continued visitation is harmful to your children, or if you believe visitation has been wrongfully withheld from you, contact us to discuss your rights and a recommended course of action. The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can assist you in fighting for your rights and those of your children in a visitation or custody dispute in California. Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas. If you are a parent with a visitation or custody issue, call us today to learn more about how we can help. Call (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.
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