Custody, access, and visitation are all terms that pertain to what is in the best interests of the child or children with regard to how their parents will share time with them. In order for a parent to request visitation time with their children, they must first petition a local family court. At that point, a judge will determine a visitation schedule which upholds the kids’ best interests that the parents will have to abide by.
In Montgomery County, parents, step-parents, de facto parents, and grandparents can request visitation. A de facto parent could be anyone the child has lived with and has a special bond with. Those seeking parenting time with their children should consult with a Montgomery County visitation lawyer. A diligent child custody attorney could help a person assert their parenting rights in family court, so do not hesitate to reach out to our team.
Visitation Versus Custody
Custody had to do with which parent lives with their child on a regular basis, and it involves physical and legal access. Legal custody determines who gets to make important decisions for the minor child(ren) regarding their medical needs, educational endeavors, and religious upbringing.
Alternatively, visitation pertains to when a parent or third party gets to visit with and see the child — whether overnight or during specific times. In Montgomery County, there is no limit on the amount, frequency, and type of contact between a parent and their child. Instead, it is determined on a case-by-case basis in the best interests of the child.
Determining Visitation in Montgomery County
Only a judge and/or magistrate can rule on custody and access schedules. If a party wants to have visitation with their children, they must file a complaint in the appropriate circuit court in Montgomery County. A judge will then use many factors to determine an appropriate visitation schedule which upholds the best interests of the children. For example, factors which can influence a judge’s final decision on a parent’s visitation rights include but are limited to:
- Both parents’ caring capacities
- The ages and health of the children
- Both parents’ ages and health
- The geographic proximity of the parents’ homes to each other
- Both parents’ willingness to share custody
- The current access schedule between the parties
- The social and academic lives of the children
- The relationships between the children and their parents
- Both parents’ financial circumstances
- The ability of the parties to communicate
Local family courts may consider any other factors that the parties bring to the judge’s attention in the form of admissible evidence.
Being Granted Visitation Rights
All parents have a right to access their children. If one parent wants to deny the other’s access rights, they will have to go to court and demonstrate why they should be denied parenting time with their kids. However, every parent has a constitutional right to spend time with their children, unless it is determined in court that it is not in their best interests to do so.
In cases involving child abuse, neglect, drug addiction, or substance abuse, a judge may order limited or supervised visitation to protect the children from suffering any harm. However, that kind of determination is fact-specific and depends largely on the circumstances of each case. That is why it is very important for anyone seeking time with their children to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced visitation lawyer in Montgomery County.
Get in Touch with a Montgomery County Visitation Attorney Today
Visitation rights are based on state law, certain circumstances, and what evidence a person can bring to court. A Montgomery County visitation lawyer could help you present the best possible case to reach a favorable result for your children.
It is also very important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible so your case can take priority and your attorney can work to minimize any emotional harm from befalling your kids during this process. Call us today to retain qualified legal advocacy during this tumultuous time in your life.