How Can Non-Custodial Parents Reestablish/Improve Visitation?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County child custody; California Divorce MediatorsIt is the wish of every parent to be with his/her child after a divorce. But one of the worst consequences of divorce is that one parent must sacrifice his/her custodial rights for the other. According to state laws, non-custodial parents in California get visiting hours as set by the custody agreements. But parents often remain unsatisfied with such agreements. They want to spend more time with their children.

Consult an attorney

The best way to assess the agreement plan and work accordingly is by consulting an attorney. Non-custodial parents should seek the advice of an experienced lawyer and decide what works best for them. There are many good lawyers available in California and each offer their own set of expertise.

Always remember that every system has loopholes and a good lawyer knows where those exist and how they can be used for his/her client’s benefits.

Avoid visiting the court 

One of the best ways to increase visiting hours or even get custody of your child is by finding contempt against your spouse and filing them in a court. However, in all likelihood, the judge dealing with your case might be burdened with work and may get irritated having to deal with a case that was supposed to be finished. It is possible for your plan to backfire if the judge feels you are deliberately trying to increase visiting hours.

It is therefore advised to avoid going to the court as much as possible after a judgement has been passed. Go only if the case is serious and requires a second hearing. Otherwise, simply stick to the advice of a divorce lawyer.

Take advantage of the system

As mentioned before, the system is full of loopholes. There are problems and identifying those problems should be your main aim. A non-custodial parent may request for a change in custodial plans when there is a substantial change in the situation. Substantial change includes emergencies, health, employment or denial of visitation.

If the California court believes the changes are negatively affecting a child, it may change the visiting hours and reestablish new plans for the non-custodial parents.


Changing custodial plans and visiting hours once they have been established can be tough but not impossible. The judicial system has weak spots which can be used in one’s favor. Courts can change custodial plans for non-custodial parents if it finds it in the child’s best interests.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation