Visitation Lawyer in Maryland
Visitation, also known as “access” is the time a non-custodial parent regularly spends with his/her children. Visitation schedules can be established by the parties through negotiation or imposed by the Court after a trial on the matter. As with all custody issues, the standard to be followed is the “best interest of the child.” Visitation arrangements can be decided upon as part of a divorce proceeding, as part of custody proceedings or in a suit to modify access. Maryland custody and divorce attorneys can also help you if you believe that your visitation rights are not being met.
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A Maryland divorce attorney who specializes in custody matters, as do the attorneys at Lustig & Gudis, LLC can help you negotiate a visitation schedule. It is important that you consult with an experienced and compassionate family law attorney regarding visitation/access issues in order to protect you rights as well as those of your children.
In some cases the visitation schedule is left undefined, leaving the parents to work out the times and places for visitation themselves. This type of arrangement works well only for parents who work extremely well together and have good, established communication between themselves about their children.
A visitation schedule can take many forms. The traditional visitation schedule of alternating weekends from Friday evening to Sunday evening and a dinner visit during the week has been around for years and is still implemented in some current situations. Depending on the particular case this type of visitation schedule would be considered reasonable or families may want a different schedule, providing the non-custodial parent more time with the children.
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Major factors in deciding on a visitation schedule include the children’s ages and stages of development, the children’s schedules and the parents’ work and home schedules. Older children may want input into the schedule and depending on their age and level of maturity may be given some say in the arrangement. It is, though, the parents’ responsibility to decide upon an arrangement that best suits the children and themselves. When the parents cannot decide on the visitation schedule, the Court will step in, at the request of either parent, and make the decision for them. It is important to have an experienced custody and visitation attorney represent you in custody and/or visitation litigation in order to protect your rights and the rights of your children.
At times it is appropriate to impose supervised visitation if the non-custodial parent may pose a threat to the children. Supervision can be done through a county facility or by a person or persons who the parents trust to provide the necessary supervision. Supervised visitation may be imposed if the non-custodial parent has substance abuse problems or a history of violence, or for other reasons. Occasionally, the non-custodial parent will agree to supervised visits. However, if your children’s other parent is insisting on supervised vitiation for you and you disagree with him/her, it is in your best interest to have a Maryland family lawyer represent you.
Unfortunately, some parents put their finances ahead of the best interest of their children. In Maryland, once a parent reaches 128 overnights spent with the children, the calculation of child support changes, and the non-custodial parent will be required to pay less support than if he or she had fewer overnights with the children. This is a trap for the unwary parent. The Maryland divorce attorneys at Lustig & Gudis, LLC can help you protect yourself and your children in the event their other parent is not looking out for the best interest of your children.