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See Your Child Grow Up – Defend Your Visitation Rights

JC Law Attorney Team

Enforce your legal right to be there for your child – wherever and whenever they need you.

Make sure you defend your right to see your child through a fair visitation schedule, championed by family lawyers at The Law Office of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, LLC.

What Are “Visitation Rights” In Maryland?

When one parent gets primary or sole custody of a child, the non-custodial parent typically receives visitation rights. In other words, Maryland law recognizes both parents’ legal right to contact and spend time with their children.

During a breakup, even devoted parents can make unwise and emotional decisions. Under certain circumstances, Maryland courts might order supervised visitation if you are:

  • Undergoing substance abuse rehabilitation
  • Receiving mental health treatment
  • Homeless

Supervised visitation typically involves meeting with your child at a neutral location. And, if you are uncomfortable seeing your ex, you might have monitored or staggered hand-offs of your child.

How Do I Figure Out Visitation Rights Through Maryland Courts?

Maryland family courts can order an official “visitation schedule” to help minimize disputes about parent-child contact and communications.

While some parents can agree to the terms of a visitation schedule on their own, many couples need help from a child visitation lawyer. Your lawyer might:

  • Help you negotiate a fair visitation schedule and present it to the relevant Maryland circuit court for approval;
  • Guide you through an alternative dispute resolution process, such as mediation; and
  • File a complaint for visitation on your behalf.

Maryland law requires its judges to consider your child’s “best interests” when awarding visitation. Therefore, the frequency and extent of your visitation rights might depend on:

  • The age and number of children involved
  • Your child’s wishes (if age-appropriate)
  • The amount of travel required to see your child
  • The parents’ work schedules
  • Your child’s school and other schedules
  • Your child’s need for stability
  • Each parent’s willingness to cooperate and maintain a civil relationship
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence or child abuse
  • Your child’s health
  • Your child’s physical and emotional needs

Am I Required To Follow A Visitation Schedule Ordered By Maryland Courts?

Yes. Once you have a Maryland court-ordered visitation schedule, you must follow it– even if the non-custodial parent has unpaid child support. If your ex violates your visitation order, you should demand his or her compliance.

If your requests are ignored, contact a child visitation lawyer immediately. A parent who violates a visitation order might face criminal charges such as:

They may also face civil penalties, including the termination or reduction of visitation or custody rights.

However, Maryland courts always maintain jurisdiction over child custody and visitation matters. If your circumstances significantly change, you can ask the court to modify the visitation order.

Can A Grandparent Or Other Family Member Get Visitation Rights?

Grandparents, stepparents, and other family members do not typically have custody rights unless the child’s biological parents are unfit.

However, they might have limited visitation rights.

That said, visitation claims made by family members who are not the child’s parents are complicated and require extensive legal analysis. If you are a grandparent or other family member, you should consult with a child visitation lawyer before filing a complaint for visitation.

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