Parents’ Rights Lawyers in Sacramento
Fighting to Protect Your Rights as a Parent
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 require the assistance of an attorney who is experienced in family law. The Law Office of David A. Martin & Associates can sympathetically help you deal with any issues concerning your rights as a parent.
The Role of the Dependency Courts
It is only mothers and the assumed fathers who receive parental rights 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 that 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 an independent decision.
When a child is removed from a parent’s custody, the court will normally direct reunification services to bring the family back together. In extreme cases, reunification will not be directed. There are specific time limits that range from 6 to 18 months when the parent has to undertake court-ordered programs 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 also has to ensure the other parent has fair visitation rights, unless it has been identified that visitation would not be in the child’s best interests.
California courts recognize and emphasize the importance of frequent and long-lasting contact between a child and both parents. A parent will only lose visitation rights if visitation could prove detrimental to the child. 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 visitation is dependent on the custodial parent’s ability to ensure 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-ordered requirements. If the custodial parent fails to follow the order, then he or she is committing a punishable offense.
Do you have questions about your rights as a parent? Contact our Sacramento parents' rights attorneys at (916) 299-3936 now.