First, attempt to negotiate a visitation agreement directly with the custodial parent if at all possible; having this plan written down and agreed upon is ideal. If that fails, file a petition in court seeking visitation rights; be prepared to demonstrate why such rights would benefit your child.
California courts generally begin from the premise that frequent and ongoing contact between both parents is in the child’s best interests.
Obtaining a visitation order will require filing the appropriate court forms, paying a filing fee, and attending an appropriate court hearing -while also showing your request is reasonable.
The court will take into consideration many factors when assessing your case, including your relationship with the child, any history of violence/substance abuse (if applicable), criminal record status ( if any), etc.
Visitation should usually begin gradually if the child doesn’t already know you, usually starting with short, supervised visits and working up from there.
Courts can order a custody evaluation to help establish an ideal visitation schedule; you may be responsible for covering its costs.
Once a visitation order is in effect, be sure to abide by it exactly. Keep track of any denied visits; filing for contempt could be appropriate if the custodial parent does not comply with court -ordered visitation rights. Inquire into modifications of order if more substantial rights should become necessary at some point in time.