Do You Need Help From an Experienced Visitation Lawyer in Rockville, Maryland?
It can be difficult to provide strong and effective parental guidance when you do not have full custody, and children often struggle to understand why their family dynamics are in flux. Nevertheless, there are effective ways to grow positive familial relationships in a variety of scenarios that you may encounter under different child custody circumstances. An experienced child visitation lawyer can guide you through the process of seeking and establishing a fair and appropriate visitation schedule for you and your child(ren).
While the emotional strain parents face when navigating these situations can lead to discouragement, guidance and direction from the right visitation attorney can lead to a better experience for both parent and child. At the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, LLC, we have helped Maryland families in similar situations for over three decades, also drawing upon principles of counseling and psychology to lead them through a journey into their next phase of life together.
Child custody arrangements agreed on during a divorce often seem workable at the time. However, they may eventually fail to satisfy the needs of one or both parents in practice. Noncustodial parents may find that they are able to enjoy far less time with their children than they had expected. Custodial parents may find themselves scrambling to accommodate visitation by the noncustodial parent. These are situations that can upset both parents and children, but there are ways to address and resolve these problems.
If you are trying to establish an original visitation schedule — or if you are unhappy with the one in effect under a court order — we can help. Our founding Rockville visitation attorney, Ellen L. Lee, has over three decades of experience resolving visitation matters for divorcing, divorced, or never-married parents. Our firm can also apply the same knowledge and experience in seeking modifications or enforcement of current visitation arrangements. The Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee is here to take the conflict out of visitation so you and your coparent can move forward with the vital job of productive and peaceful parenting.
Call us at the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee today to request a convenient consultation at (301) 279-0692(301) 279-0692, or contact us by filling out our online form. Our experienced founding family law attorney is available to meet with you in person at our boutique law office, by video via Zoom, or by phone. Evening and weekend options are available.
Types of Child Visitation in Maryland
There are four general classifications of child visitation schedule terms in Maryland:
- Fixed Visitation — The court sets specific times and dates for visitation
- Flexible Visitation — Allows parents to work out visitation times as needed
- Supervised Visitation — Visits are supervised to ensure the child’s safety
- No Visitation — Visitation is denied by the court
Fixed Visitation Schedule
A fixed visitation schedule is often used when the parents cannot agree on a schedule, or when predictability and structure are deemed important for the child’s well-being. The schedule includes details such as holidays, birthdays, and vacation times.
Flexible Visitation Schedule
A flexible visitation schedule typically works best when parents have a cooperative relationship and can communicate effectively about the child’s needs. The flexible schedule can adapt to changes in parents’ and children’s schedules, offering more freedom.
Supervised Visitation Schedule
Supervised visitation is ordered by the court when it is determined that a child’s safety and well-being require that visits with the noncustodial parent be supervised by another adult or a professional agency. This could be due to issues related to substance abuse, mental health, or allegations of abuse or neglect.
No visitation is ordered when the court determines that any form of visitation would be harmful to the child. In these cases, the court has decided that the child would be at risk during any physical contact with the noncustodial parent.
Discuss the details and circumstances of your situation with our founding attorney at the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee to determine the appropriate goals and strategies for your case.
Effects of Custody Terms on Visitation in Maryland
In Maryland, custody terms in a divorce agreement can significantly impact visitation rights and schedules, potentially causing emotional strain for all parties involved. This legally complex process directly affects the relationships between parents and children.
While natural parents generally have a presumptive right to custody, the court may deviate from this presumption if they are found unfit or if there are extraordinary circumstances. This underscores the importance of the child custody terms established during the divorce process.
A Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) can stipulate specific visitation schedules and arrangements, which can have long-lasting effects on your parent-child relationship. If both you and the other parent can agree on a visitation schedule that serves the interests of your children, this can help to mitigate potential conflicts and maintain a stable environment in your future, post-divorce.
Child Custody Terms in Marital Settlement Agreements Are Not Necessarily Without Conflict
Conflicts often arise while and after the child custody terms are settled. The emotional toll of these proceedings should not be underestimated, highlighting the importance of working closely with a calm, collected, and experienced family law attorney when conflicts do arise. The transition from a shared family home to separate households with divided time can also be challenging for children. It’s critical that parents navigate this process with sensitivity and prioritize open communication with their children.
If the court awards child support to the spouse who has primary physical custody, this financial aspect can add another layer of complexity that can influence the dynamics of visitation arrangements. The child custody terms decided in a Maryland divorce agreement can profoundly affect visitation in various ways. Several variations of physical and legal custody arrangements can create different circumstances for visitation to take place — perhaps consisting of sole custody, joint custody, or shared physical custody.
Experienced Maryland child custody lawyers can address the existing or proposed custody arrangement in light of your goals and interests. It’s a delicate process that requires careful consideration, and these important decisions often require negotiation to seek the right option for the children involved.
Conflict-Free Visitation Is Better For Your Child
Recent studies indicate that divorce significantly affects children emotionally, socially, and academically. Maintaining healthy relationships with both parents can lessen your child(ren)’s divorce-related emotional trauma.
If your current visitation arrangement is not working, you should retain a Rockville visitation lawyer to enforce the arrangement or to negotiate a new visitation plan, which may be strict or flexible and include any combination of overnight, weekend, and/or extended visits. Visitation that is free of conflict allows both parents to continue to create positive relationships with children, reduces stress for all concerned, and puts the interests of the child(ren) first.
A History of Child Abuse or Violence Will Affect Visitation in Maryland
A history of child abuse or violence can profoundly affect visitation rights and child custody arrangements. This is indeed a significant concern both before and after a divorce, with potential long-term impacts on the relationships between parent and child. The stakes are significantly heightened in divorce proceedings when violence is involved. The court’s primary concern in regards to custody and visitation is to protect the child from exposure to violence and ensure their safety.
If a parent has been found to have a history of violent behavior towards a child, this will significantly impact their chances of being granted custody or visitation rights.
Denial of Visitation on Basis of Likely Abuse or Neglect
Under Maryland law, once a child is found to be a Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) based on a finding of abuse or neglect against both parents, the court must apply Family Law Section 9-101 to a parent requesting custody or visitation. This section requires that the court deny custody or visitation if it finds that abuse or neglect is likely to occur if the child is placed with the parent. If the court does grant visitation or custody to a parent with a history of abuse, it must make a written finding that the child and the other parent can be adequately protected from harm.
Exposure to violence can cause serious emotional and psychological trauma in a child. For the non-abusive parent, the fear of their child being exposed to further abuse can be overwhelming. The abusive parent may face significant legal consequences and societal stigma, which could further strain their relationship with the child. In these complex situations, it is essential for all parties to seek professional help, including legal advice and psychological support.
Grandparents’ Rights & Visitation in Maryland
Grandparents may petition a Maryland court for visitation rights at any time. If the court is convinced that time spent with grandparents is in the child’s interests, the judge may grant regular visits. A grandparent seeking visitation rights is treated as a third party unless they prove to the court that they are a de facto parent to the child.
The court in Maryland presumes that parents have a right to raise their children as they see fit, and that they generally act in the child’s interests. If a parent objects to your visitation as a grandparent, the matter becomes much more difficult and complex, requiring the counsel and assistance of an experienced attorney.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Visitation Matter with Ellen L. Lee to Leverage Over 35 Years of Experience Practicing Family Law in Montgomery County, Maryland
Our founding attorney, Ellen L. Lee, has devoted over three decades to serving the community of Montgomery County, Maryland by helping individuals and families with their family law matters. With a strong background in counseling and psychology, she offers invaluable personal guidance and emotional support during what could be a difficult phase in their lives.
Schedule a confidential consultation to learn more about how the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, LLC can help you with your visitation issue. Call us today at (301) 279-0692(301) 279-0692 or use our online consultation request form.
Our founding attorney will conveniently meet with you by phone, by video via Zoom, or in person at our boutique family law office in Rockville, Maryland. We can also schedule evening or weekend appointments to meet your needs.
Why Choose the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee
Ellen L. Lee has devoted over 35 years of unwavering commitment to aiding individuals and families in Montgomery County, Maryland with their family law needs. Grounded in counseling and psychology, she provides personalized guidance and assistance to her clients in an inviting atmosphere — prioritizing effective communication while forging new beginnings amidst family law disputes.
- Tenacious & Compassionate Legal Support
- Trusted Guidance that Exceeds Expectations
- Full Range of Family Law Services
- Flexible Consultation Times: Nights and Weekends are Available
- Over 35 Years of Experience Practicing Family Law in Montgomery County, Maryland
Our Founding Attorney conveniently meets with clients via phone, video conference, or in person at our office in Rockville, Maryland.