Legal Question in Family Law in California

I have sole legal and physical custody of my child, and my ex husband has reasonable visitation. He wants to begin having regular video chat visits with our child, but I don't know how often to make them. He struggles with bipolar disorder and has driven under the influence before. I worry about his mental state, but he says it's under control. What is the least amount of video visits I can give him per year, considering that he initially asked for weekly?

Asked on 8/02/21, 1:53 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

There is no legal rule that answers your question. If you and he cannot agree and you put it to a court to decide, the court would apply two principles: 1. That law favors “frequent and continuing contact” with the non-custodial parent, with the goal being an arrangement that is 2. “In the best interests of the minor child.” That’s basically all the law there is. Within that broad framework the court must look at all the facts and circumstances and then determine in the court’s discretion what best will meet those potentially complementary but potentially competing objectives. The only other thing I can add is if the child is 14 or older they have an official legal right to tell the court what they want, although the court is under no obligation to do what the child asks.

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Answered on 8/03/21, 11:51 am

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