Custody & Visitation
Here at Cohen|Harris we don’t like the word visitation. It is your time with your child! We are here to help you fight for all the rights you are entitled to when it comes to your children. Maryland does not have a presumption that putting a child in the custody of a parent based on their gender is automatically best for every child. Each custody situation will reflect the physical and emotional needs of the child. The top factors that the court considers regarding the child are:
- The child’s need for a stable home.
- The child’s wishes, if the child is mature enough to have a preference.
- The child’s age and gender.
- The parents’ mental and physical health.
- How the parents care for the particularized needs of their child.
Child custody and visitation issues usually arise as a result of a divorce. However, that is not the only instance that can lead to a custody dispute. Regardless of how the dispute occurs, the first thing that you should do when engaging in a custody dispute is consult with an attorney. The custody and visitation attorneys at Cohen|Harris are able to help you figure out which laws and statutes apply to your case in order to clarify your legal rights. When it comes to custody and visitation, our family law attorneys are here to assist you with:
- Establishment – Filing the initial court order requesting child custody and/or visitation.
- Modification – Adjusting child custody and visitation due to changes in circumstances relating to the child, custodial parent, or non-custodial parent.
- Contempt – Implementing consequences for a party’s failure to follow the court’s orders.
- Enforcement – Involves taking measures to ensure that the custody or visitation order is executed in accordance with the court’s directions.
- Parenting Plans – A parenting plan is a document that outlines how the parties will raise a minor child with respect to the child’s unique needs. It covers how the parties will make major decisions regarding the child, as well as custody and visitation in some instances. A parenting plan may be submitted by a party wishing to have a parent-child relationship with the minor child, including biological parents, adoptive parents, de facto parents, and legal guardians.
- Third Party Visitation – A third party means anyone other than a parent or de facto parent, such as grandparents, stepparents, family members, and close friends. Under certain circumstances, third parties may be granted visitation rights with a child. In rare cases, third parties may even be granted custody of a child. Third party rights vary depending on the nature of the third party’s relationship of the child, in consideration of the custodial parent’s unfitness to raise the child.
- Uncontested Adoption – In all types of adoption cases, if the natural parent can be found, they will be asked if they contest the adoption. If the natural parent does not consent, they can file and objection to the adoption. If the natural parent does not object, then the adoption will proceed uncontested. Uncontested adoptions are usually carried out by stepparents seeking an independent adoption of their spouse’s child or children. Uncontested adoptions may also be initiated for adult children over the age of 18.
Ultimately, in terms of custody and visitation, the decision is made based on what the court believes is in the best interest of the child’s health, happiness, safety, and development. We work with our clients as a team to help them achieve the outcome that they desire. Contact our Baltimore child custody and visitation lawyers so that we can protect all of the rights that you’re entitled to with your child. Call us today at 888-585-7979 for a free case evaluation.