Baltimore Child Custody Lawyers
Child Visitation and Parenting Agreements
Missing important birthdays, holidays or even your child’s dance recital or baseball game can be upsetting for both you and your child. After a divorce it is very difficult to determine when you will have access with your child. Family law issues matter to Baltimore child custody lawyer, Allyson B. Goldscher, so much so that she has focused her practice – the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC – almost exclusively to family law issues such as visitation and parenting time.
“Best Interests” Standard Applies for Custody and Visitation
Maryland differs from neighboring states in that courts are not bound by an established set of factors to consider when making a determination of child visitation rights. Instead, courts need only address which arrangement would be in the “best interests” of a child. When establishing what constitutes a child’s best interests, courts will look to certain generally-accepted factors.
A parent’s character and reputation, a child’s preference and the ability of a parent to provide financially for a child will usually be considered. A judge will also examine the relationship between child and parent prior to the breakdown of the family unit. Additionally, a parent’s work schedule, the distance from his/her home to the child’s school and the geographic proximity of the parents to one another are all relevant factors in the analysis.
Parenting Agreements Take Guesswork Out of Court
Due to the fact that courts in Maryland have great leeway in deciding what is – and is not – in the best interests of a child, erratic and unpredictable outcomes can occur. For that reason, whenever possible, parents should attempt to put their differences aside and reach an agreement outside of court. A Baltimore child custody lawyer can draft a parenting agreement or visitation plan long before estranged spouses will ever face off before a judge.
Parenting plans should be tailored. A valid and enforceable visitation plan should cover a wide range of scenarios, far beyond the everyday comings and goings of parents and their children. The questions of which parent will host a child over which holiday must be answered, as well as when and for how long vacations may take place length of vacation must be answered. Additionally, a visitation plan or parenting agreement must address pick-up and drop-off times, meeting locations and whether or not an intermediary will be used to transfer the children from one parent to the other.
An agreement is not enough. Once the child custody has been finalized, it must be accepted and approved by the Court and incorporated into a consent order. A change of circumstances may warrant a modification of the consent order, similar to child support orders.
Contact Baltimore Child Custody Lawyer, Allyson B. Goldscher, for all Your Visitation Plan Needs
Baltimore child custody lawyer, Allyson B. Goldscher, drafts visitation plans and parenting agreements that stand the test of time, serving the needs of parents and their children. At our offices in Stevenson, Maryland, we proudly represent clients throughout Baltimore County and Baltimore City. If you or a loved one is in need of legal representation in a family law matter call us today at 410-602-9522 or contact us online.