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Child Custody Attorneys Serving Rockville and Surrounding Areas

Parents may find custody and visitation decisions difficult to negotiate between themselves. At Felsen & Sargent, our Rockville child custody lawyers understand that the decisions you make about your child's wellbeing are extremely important. As knowledgeable family law attorneys, we can help you negotiate an agreement with your spouse. If an agreement cannot be reached, moreover, we can bring your concerns before a judge.

Visitation after a Maryland Divorce

Custody and visitation decisions are usually part of a divorce if a married couple has children. In Maryland, these decisions are based on the best interests of the children. Couples are often required to participate in mediation before the court hears a child custody dispute. When a couple is unable to reach an agreement about with whom and where a child will live and how much the other parent can visit or co-parent, the court will look at the totality of the circumstances to make a decision about the custody and visitation arrangement.

Both natural parents are presumed to be appropriate custodians of the children, and neither the mother nor the father is favored. This means it is difficult for grandparents or others to obtain custody over the natural parents. The best interests of the child standard is used to determine where the child should live and the amount of visitation. However, if circumstances change after the divorce, either parent can petition the court to modify an existing custody and visitation order.

In most cases, the court will grant custody to one parent with visitation to the other or will grant shared custody to both parents. When the court makes custody orders, it will consider both legal custody and physical custody. Parents are considered to share physical custody if the child spends at least 35% of the time with each parent, and both contribute to expenses for the child.

The parents' ability to talk about and reach joint decisions is a key factor when the court is considering joint legal custody and shared physical custody. When parents are constantly fighting over some aspect of legal custody, the court may not approve an agreement that they reach through their attorneys or in mediation.

When determining the child's best interests for the purposes of custody and visitation, the court will consider who is the primary care giver, the fitness of each parent, character and reputation, any existing agreements, which parent is better able to help a child maintain family relationships, and opportunities for visitation. In some cases, a judge may interview a child outside the parents' presence to determine the child’s preference.

Visitation is parenting time with a parent who is not the primary custodian of the child. It may or may not include overnight visits. Visitation is awarded based on the child's best interests. If a child's health or welfare is threatened by visitation, a judge may restrict or deny it. However, it is unusual for a court to deny visitation entirely to a natural parent.

If a parent claims the other parent committed some form of domestic violence, the court will need to determine whether there was abuse before making a custody or visitation order. Generally, when domestic violence is found, the court does not award custody or unsupervised visitation to the parent who committed the violent acts unless it finds there is no likelihood of the parent committing future abusive acts. Supervised visitation may be awarded to ensure a child’s safety. A third party, such as an off-duty police officer, may be ordered to supervise the visitation, or the abusive parent may be ordered to pay for the supervised visitation. However, in some cases, visitation may be denied if the court finds the parent is a threat to the child's health and welfare.

Grandparents or others may petition the court for visitation. However, only when there are exceptional circumstances, or a parent has been found unfit, will a grandparent or other relatives have visitation rights with a child if a parent objects.

Consult a Rockville Lawyer for a Child Custody Matter

At Felsen & Sargent, our Rockville child custody attorneys provide trustworthy legal representation for parents who are concerned about visitation arrangements and related issues. We represent people in many areas of Maryland, including in Silver Spring, Frederick, Upper Marlboro, and communities throughout Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. Call (301) 251-4010 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation.

Client Reviews
Re-Hired Mr. Felsen for His Top Reputation
No lawyer can guarantee results, but some can keep It fair when the deck is stacked against you. I had two cases handled by David and neither resulted in conviction (PBJ). Things looked very dark for awhile, and I feel like I owe it to David to give him an outstanding review because he did get me a good result from which I can move forward.
- Justin
Best attorney East Coast
If I could give David Felsen more than five stars I would. Mr. Felsen changed my life forever and made this year’s Thanksgiving dinner extra special for me and my family. Through his hard work and perseverance Mr. Felsen has given me a chance to start over; he was practically able to clear 12 points from my driver’s license as well as come to an agreement with the persecutor to have 6 serious charges against me dropped.
- Rodrigo
Hired David Felsen to Defend Me In Traffic Court
I ran into David by chance when I was looking for a lawyer to defend me in traffic court. I was immediately impressed with his calm demeanor and ability to quickly size up my case. David was very clear in describing how the process would work and in advising how to best present my case. He followed through in all that he said he would do for me, and I felt very comfortable with his advice. He is a confident, capable advocate and obviously very experienced in court. I was pleased with the outcome and would recommend him to others.
- J.
Absolutely Great Attorney That You Can Trust
Mr. Felsen took my case and helped me get the absolute best outcome that I could get. I have used him a few times now on separate occasions for various legal snafus and he was exceptional each time. He won't sugarcoat the chances of your case, but he will explain it fully in the best terms possible so that you know what's ahead of you. If you hire Mr. Felsen, know that you are getting a lawyer that will do everything he can to get you his client the best deal/verdict that you can get. This is one attorney that you can definitely trust to have your back and protect your reputation.
- Andrew
Most Amazing lawyer you could get
I got referred to David Felsen last minute and he had literally one day to prepare for my case. He did the best job possible and my case got dismissed. He was definitely the best legal counsel i could get and i would remain forever grateful, his court presence is out of this world and while waiting for my case to be called, he just played spade games on his phone. No sort of anxiety whatsoever. Some of my information wasn't even complete but he still went to court and won it. I think this is the least i could do to describe the exceptional job he did.
- Chris