Regardless of the reason for your divorce, California courts believe that both parents should have access to the children. However, the duty to protect the best interest of the child is considered more important than a parent’s rights. Visitation with a child can be denied, suspended, or restricted if there is a risk to a child’s physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing. 

Here are some common situations where California visitation may be restricted:

  • Violence or physical abuse: The parent has physically abused the child or has threatened the child or custodial parent with physical violence.
  • Emotional harm: There is evidence that visitation will cause emotional harm to the child. The child suffers from stuttering, bed wetting, unusual behavior, or poor school performance after visitation.
  • Substance abuse:  A parent’s use of drugs or alcohol can affect visitation if it endangers the child’s welfare or causes the parent to mistreat the child.
  • Mental illness: The parent may only be denied visitation if the mental condition may cause the parent to harm the child.
  • Sexual behavior: Visitation may be denied if a parent’s sexual behavior is found to have a harmful effect on the child or if the child is exposed to inappropriate sexual behavior.
  • Incarcerated parent: While incarceration is not considered a sufficient reason to restrict visitation, visitation may be denied when visits to the incarcerated parent are emotionally damaging to the child.
  • Child abduction: The court may restrict visitation if there is a threat or strong probability that the non-custodial parent will abduct the child. 

In order for the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent to be denied, there must be substantial evidence that visitation will be harmful to the child. If your child’s safety during visitation is a concern, your San Francisco custody lawyer can help you obtain that evidence. 

The women-only divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan can help find the custody solution that is right for you and your children. To make an appointment, call us at 415-341-1144.

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