When one divorced parent provides the primary home for a child, the other parent typically is awarded visitation rights. Maryland law values this parenting time so highly that even the noncustodial parent’s failure to make child support payments is not grounds for denying visitation. At Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C., we help parents create visitation plans that benefit the child and the parents.
Maryland courts encourage parents to cooperate in establishing a visitation schedule that will be in the best interest of the child. If the parents are not able to work together to create a schedule for parenting time, the courts have mediation resources that can help. Both of our firm’s partners, Linda Haspel and Gwen McLeod, are mediators.
Linda is a mediator who is regularly appointed by the court to mediate divorce cases in Montgomery County. Linda is trained in collaborative law and often helps families reach an agreement through alternative dispute resolution methods.
Gwen is a mediator who is regularly appointed by the court to mediate cases in Frederick and Montgomery counties. Gwen also is trained in collaborative law. At Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C., we help parents maintain close relationships with their child after a divorce.
Parents have a number of options in creating a child visitation arrangement. They can have a flexible schedule, a structured schedule that includes weekend and holidays, or a schedule that’s determined by the custodial parent. In cases in which the noncustodial parent has a history of abuse, supervised visitation may be appropriate.
When developing a visitation schedule, you should consider factors as:
The Frederick and Rockville family lawyers at Haspel & McLeod are dedicated to helping you create a visitation plan that accommodates the realities of your schedule and the needs of your child. We work hard to ensure that your child isn’t shortchanged on parenting time after your divorce.
A Maryland court has the power to deny visitation to a parent. If visitation with the noncustodial parent has exposed the child to physical or emotional danger, the court should be notified and, if immediate action is warranted, so should the police.
Typically, the court will stop visitation for only a specified amount of time or until the noncustodial parent performs a specified task, such as completing a parenting course.
If the custodial parent hinders or denies court-ordered visitation, the noncustodial parent can seek a contempt ruling from the court as well as a modification of the existing order. If the custodial parent consistently refuses to follow the visitation plan, our attorneys will pursue an enforcement action on your behalf.
Under Maryland law, the custodial parent cannot make visitation contingent on the payment of child support. Conversely, the noncustodial parent cannot stop making child support because he or she has been denied visitation. Both parents should keep in mind that ignoring court orders can have severe consequences, including jail time.
The family law attorneys at Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C., can answer all of your questions about child visitation and parenting time. Call us at 301-631-0592, or contact us online today. Our Maryland attorneys represent individuals and families throughout Frederick, Montgomery, Washington and Howard counties. Our offices are at 77 S. Washington St., Suite 200, in Rockville, and at 141 W. Patrick St., Suite 102, in Frederick.