In a divorce, Maryland courts award custody of minor children according to the best interests of the children. In this spirit, if one party gets physical custody, the other party usually has visitation rights.
Judges can and should restrict access to children under certain circumstances, according to the American Bar Association (ABA) publication, A Judge’s Guide: Making Child-Centered Decisions in Custody Cases. If contact is likely to place the child in physical or emotional danger, the court can deny or restrict access. But because generally the court assumes that it is in the best interest of the child to remain in a relationship with both parents, it does try to find ways not to deny contact.
The most common situations where custody is denied or restricted occur when one partner can prove there has been domestic violence or child abuse. Most states require these to be considerations when making custody arrangements.
Since the court does usually favor maintaining relationships, however, if a way can be found to make sure the child is safe during visitations, access will usually be permitted. According to the ABA’s guidance, this usually means access to your child can be restricted or supervised in a number of ways, including:
- Order that the exchange of the child is to occur only in certain protected settings, like a police station
- Supervised visitation by a neutral party approved by the court (which may be done at the cost of the potentially endangering parent)
- Require counseling for the perpetrator of violence
- Require that the perpetrator abstain from alcohol for a certain period before and during visitation
- Deny overnight visits
Some very contentious child custody settlements limit visitation to communication by telephone, audio or video recordings, photos, letters and other media.
Baltimore County Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC: Experienced Legal Representation for Families Dealing with Child Custody Issues
If you or someone you know needs legal assistance with any divorce matter including child custody issues, call Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC to discuss the situation with one of our reputable Baltimore divorce lawyers. With more than 30 years of experience, you can count on our highly skilled and knowledgeable legal team to resolve all of your divorce matters in a caring professional manner. Call our Hunt Valley, MD office today at (443) 589-0150 to schedule a consultation with a qualified Baltimore child custody lawyer or contact us online.