In Maryland, parenting time (sometimes referred to as “visitation”) refers to the time that each parent spends with the children after a divorce or breakup. Parenting time can be a source of serious contention between parents, each of whom feels that the children need more time with them, or believes the other parent is not honoring a previous agreement or capable of properly caring for their children. The amount of parenting time each parent is granted may also have an impact on the amount of child support awarded.
Like custody, courts will award parenting time based on the child’s best interests. For that reason, judges will usually respect a parenting time arrangement agreed to by the parents themselves, as long as it seems reasonable and fair. If the parents cannot agree, then the court -- after a hearing on the merits -- must decide.
Parenting time determinations can be difficult because they strive to meet two opposing goals: flexibility, to adjust to the school, work and activity schedules of busy families; and predictability, so everyone in the family can know what to expect. Factor in the needs of different children of different ages for different types of interactions, and the opposing viewpoints of parents about various rules, and the calculation becomes even more complex. And that’s without the concerns that some parents have about the safety of their children in the other parent’s care. It’s no wonder that parenting time determinations can be so stressful for many parents, and such a significant point of contention between the parties.
The outcome of a parenting time determination affects every aspect of a parent’s life: personal, work, and family time. The impact is even more profound for the child, whose world the parenting time order redesigns. At The Law Office of Michael Golburgh, we use our extensive negotiation skills to help clients reach an agreement that works for the client and their family. If negotiation is not possible or desirable, we are ready and able to protect our client’s position in the courtroom, as we are litigators and trial attorneys.
The Law Office of Michael Golburgh is available to assist clients with parenting time concerns in the context of a divorce or separation. Time marches on after divorce, however, and families and their needs continue to evolve. Therefore, our firm also regularly handles modifications of parenting time when an original agreement or order no longer suits the child’s best interests or the family’s needs.
We invite you to contact The Law Office of Michael Golburgh to learn more about our parenting time support or to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys.