Who gets to visit in a child custody case?
Following a divorce or end of a relationship, Parents must face key decisions over who gets custody of their child. A big question that many parents and family members may have in a child custody dispute involves visitation rights, which not only regard the natural parents but extended relatives and other third parties as well.
For detailed guidance to answer these questions and find possible solutions, parents and relatives may look to child custody lawyers such as one from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright who has established an excellent record representing clients and protecting their rights.
An Overview of Visitation Rights
Disagreements over child custody are common among both divorced couples as well as non-married parents. Under Maryland law, final determination of visitation rights is based on the parents’ agreement or through a court order if no agreement is made. Judges weigh their decision based on the best interests of a child, as well as the recommendations of each party’s lawyers.
Once primary custodial rights are established, a visitation schedule can be formed. Each parent and other third parties must strictly comply with the guidelines. The visitation rights of different parties are described below:
- Parents. Both parents can create an agreement on visitation rights. Generally, if no agreement is made the parent with primary custodial rights has the right to determine the visitation schedule as long as it complies with the court order.
- Step-Parents. Maryland law does not grant visitation rights to step-parents, especially if the mother or father does not want to grant permission.
- Grandparents. Grandparents have a right to ask the court for reasonable visitation rights.
- Extended Family. The visitation rights of aunts, uncles, and other extended family members are typically decided in a court order. These rights vary under different circumstances. If the natural parents are reluctant, a child custody lawyer can offer legal guidance.
Can Visitation Rights Change?
If a non-custodial parent is not satisfied with the visitation schedule, they must go through the system again. An effective alternative option to the court includes mediation so that disputes can be settled in a more fair, practical, and less costly way. It is recommended for parents to handle any disagreements over visitation rights as amicably as possible to avoid further complications that may lead to another court battle.
If you have additional questions regarding child custody, visitation rights, and other related topics, you can consult with a seasoned family law lawyer who can give you answers so you can move forward to settle on an appropriate solution.