Establishing a Child Visitation Agreement in Maryland
At Houlon Berman, we understand the difficulties associated with separation and divorce, especially if children are involved. As part of this process, parents must establish a child visitation agreement (sometimes referred to as child access agreement) or schedule that reflects their children’s best interests. This can be a challenging and emotionally trying task, depending on the circumstances surrounding the separation.
The attorneys at Houlon Berman have years of experience with cases involving child visitation in Maryland and DC and will help you understand the child visitation guidelines, as well as establish a custody schedule and parenting plan tailored to your specific situation. If you need a family law attorney in Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County or the surrounding areas, please contact us today.
Types of Visitation Schedules
Setting up a child visitation schedule may be time consuming and troublesome. Both parents must agree on a schedule that accommodates their work hours, outside commitments, etc. If a mutual agreement cannot be reached, a judge must make the final decision.
There are several types of child visitation agreements, but all must be approved by a judge. In every case, the children’s best interests will be considered. Child visitation options in Maryland include:
This type of agreement is ideal for parents who still get along well after separation or divorce and who communicate regularly. Reasonable visitation allows both parents to maintain an active role in their children’s lives. They are able to set specific schedules and locations for visitation on their own, though the parent with physical custody tends to have more control over where and when these visits take place.
A fixed visitation schedule is best for parents who prefer to minimize contact with each other. This type of agreement calls for the Court to develop a detailed schedule that specifies the exact days and times parents will have visitation rights.
For example, a fixed visitation schedule could provide the non-custodial parent (the one who does not have physical custody of the children) with visitation rights on the weekend or every Monday and Wednesday evenings, etc. The Court may modify the visitation schedule if it is necessary for the children’s well-being.
A child visitation agreement that specifies supervised meetings may be necessary to protect the children’s safety. In most cases, this schedule is established when it is beneficial for both parents to remain in their children’s lives, but one parent has had issues with drugs/alcohol, violence, etc.
Typically, in supervised visitation, a third-party member monitors the parent and children during the arranged visitation time. The third-party supervisor may be a social worker, court liaison, or staff member at a child visitation center.
Under some circumstances, one parent may be ordered to have no contact with the children, in order to protect their physical or mental well-being. In this case, a judge has determined that even with supervision, visitation would do more harm than good.
Our attorneys have a strong understanding of what is required in each of these visitation schedules and can help you navigate this complex process. We will work with you to achieve the best results for you and your children.
Solving Complex Child Visitation and Custody Battles
Our family law attorneys are dedicated to helping fathers and mothers protect the best interests of their children while also adhering to Maryland child custody factors and child support guidelines. We understand that each and every family is unique, which is why we take the time to understand how different custody and visitation agreements can impact your children.
If we are unable to reach an agreement through a collaborative or mediated divorce, we will advocate for your children, while remaining sensitive to your situation.
Contact Us About Child Visitation Agreements in Maryland or DC
If you need help establishing a child visitation agreement, contact us online or over the phone. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to develop the most appropriate child visitation schedule that works for you and your family.
The family law attorneys of Houlon, Berman, Finci, Levenstein, Skok & Sandler have over 40 years of experience advocating on behalf of parents and children in Maryland, including Bethesda, Rockville, Potomac, Washington DC, and the surrounding areas.
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