Washington, D.C. Child Visitation Lawyer Helps Parents Establish a Workable Schedule
Knowledgeable attorney negotiates parenting plans during a divorce
Parents who are not granted physical custody have the right to spend significant time with their child so that they can maintain strong family bonds. At the Law Offices of Jesse A. Gadson, PLLC in Washington, D.C., my firm advocates for fair visitation terms during divorces and situations where parents were never married to each other. No matter how strained your relationship might be with your former partner, I will make every effort to establish a parenting plan that allows you to have meaningful contact with your child.
Factors judges use in making visitation decisions
Like other decisions relating to child custody, judges set visitation terms based on what is in the young person’s best interests. Unless some sort of danger exists, this usually means frequent, meaningful contact with the noncustodial parent. Judges are free to consider any information they consider to be relevant when establishing visitation terms, but factors that are commonly considered include:
- Access to the child’s school and community
- Physical safety within each parent’s home
- Transportation issues
- Potential disruption to the child’s everyday routine
From the moment you decide to divorce, you should start thinking about the best way to craft a visitation plan that creates a positive environment for you, your ex and your child.
What is in a comprehensive visitation schedule?
A comprehensive visitation schedule should cover weekdays, holidays, school vacations and family events. My firm works closely with parents to learn about the specific needs and interests of their children to develop a comprehensive parenting plan. Your son or daughter might be involved in a sport or some other extracurricular activity that should be addressed in the visitation schedule. Setting forth transportation arrangements could also be necessary to avert problems down the road. Whatever your situation entails, I am committed to formulating a visitation framework suited to your unique circumstances.
Modifying visitation terms
When a “substantial and material change” occurs, parents can petition for a corresponding adjustment to their visitation order. Should both parents agree to the revision, this is a relatively simple process. Still, you must explain to the judge why the modification would be in the best interests of your son or daughter. In the event that your co-parent objects to the proposed change, my firm will gather the relevant information to help persuade the judge that an adjustment is warranted. You might consider a modification petition if your child is unhappy with the current arrangement, your work schedule has changed or your child’s other activities are leading to a series of canceled visits.
Enforcement of visitation orders
Occasionally, an event might occur that causes the postponement of a scheduled visit. In these isolated incidences, you should be able to reschedule the visit or perhaps make an already scheduled visit longer. However, if problems persist, it might be necessary to take more direct action. Perhaps a modification of the existing parenting plan would be appropriate, or you might need to petition the court for enforcement of the visitation order. This could result in changes to the parenting plan or contempt sanctions for your co-parent.
Contact a knowledgeable Washington, D.C. family lawyer to discuss a visitation issue
The Law Offices of Jesse A. Gadson, PLLC in Washington, D.C. advises parents in the District and Maryland on visitation matters and other family law concerns. Please call 202-972-1343 or contact me online to make an appointment for a consultation.