Establishing visitation in Maryland can be a complicated process, but it may be necessary for parents who want to maintain a relationship with their children after a separation or divorce. Visitation, or parenting time, refers to the right of a non-custodial parent to spend time with their child. In Maryland, visitation is determined by the courts based on what is in the best interests of the child.
How Can I do to Establish Visitation in Prince George’s County, Maryland and Montgomery County, Maryland?
The first step in establishing visitation in Maryland is to file a petition with the court. The Petition or Complaint to Establish Custody should include key information about the child, the parents, and the request for visitation. If the parents are already going through a divorce or legal separation, the petition can be filed as part of that process. Otherwise, the petition can be filed separately
Once the complaint is filed, the court may set a temporary visitation hearing. At the temporary visitation hearing, also known as a pendente lite hearing, , the court will consider the evidence presented by both parents, including their work schedules, the child’s schedule, and any other relevant factors. The court will then issue a temporary visitation order that outlines the visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent until a final visitation order is issued.
The Court may also schedule a merits hearing to establish a final visitation order. At the merits hearing, the court will consider various factors to determine what visitation schedule is in the best interests of the child. These factors may include the child’s age, physical and emotional needs, the parents’ work schedules, and any history of domestic violence or abuse.
If both parents agree on a visitation schedule, the court will usually approve it as long as it is in the best interests of the child. However, if the parents cannot agree, the court may order mediation or appoint a best interest attorney to represent the child’s interests. The court may also require each parent to submit a proposed parenting plan for the court’s consideration.
What Happens After I Establish Visitation in Montgomery County, Maryland and Prince George’s County, Maryland?
Once a visitation schedule is established, it is important to follow it closely. Any violations of the visitation schedule can be reported to the court, and the non-compliant parent may face legal consequences. However, if one parent needs to make a temporary changes to the visitation schedule, it may be more efficient to communicate with the co-parent before seeking a court ordered modification.
In some cases, it may be necessary to modify the visitation schedule. This can be done by filing a petition with the court and providing evidence of a significant change in circumstances that warrants a modification. For example, if one parent’s work schedule changes or the child’s needs change, it may be necessary to modify the visitation schedule to accommodate those changes.
Establishing visitation in Maryland can be a challenging process, but it is important for parents who want to maintain a relationship with their children. By filing a petition with the court and working with the other parent and the court, parents can establish a visitation schedule that is in the best interests of their child.
Considering Filing to Establish Visitation in Maryland? Contact an Experienced Montgomery County, Maryland or Prince George’s County, Maryland Family Attorney Today
If you want to know more about establishing visitation or creating a parenting plan in Maryland, you should contact the Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams, LLC to discuss your options. If you need the assistance of an experienced Maryland divorce attorney contact the Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams at (301) 778 – 9950 or leave an online request for a consultation.
Our firm passionately represents clients across Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, College Park, Cheverly, Greenbelt, Oxon Hill, Hyattsville, Upper Marlboro, Largo, Bowie and surrounding communities.