Kendall Summers Attorney at Law

Child Visitation


For a number of reasons, parents may not be able to manage a joint legal and joint physical custody relationship, and in these cases, a visitation schedule is an alternative way to structure access of both parents to the child or children. The parties may agree that one parent shall be the sole custodian of the child or children, and the other parent have a visitation schedule. This was a more common structure in the past, but given today’s recognition of the importance of both parents to a child’s life, unless there are unusual circumstances , joint physical and legal custody is a more common arrangement. The parties may agree to a visitation arrangement, or a court may order visitation, when for example, one parent travels extensively and cannot manage a joint physical arrangement, one parent lives in another state or country, or there are be certain kinds of issues with the parenting abilities of one parent, making visitation a more appropriate form of child access.

A court may order visitation to be unsupervised or supervised. Unsupervised visitation is appropriate when the court does not believe there is any danger to the child in spending visitation time with the parent. If however, there are concerns of violent, erratic or other behavior by one parent toward the child, or issues of mental health, health issues, alcohol or drug addiction or improper usage or criminal history, the court may well find that the parent is “unfit” at the time and order that all visitation with the child by the parent be supervised.

There are limited official options for supervised visitation. Some churches and other community centers offer supervised visitation (there is one in Annapolis). Other options including hiring police or others who agree to act as supervisors. Supervised visitation, with the agreement of the Court, can also be arranged with a family member such as a grandparent or other person. If the person agrees to take responsibility to supervise the visitation and this is acceptable to the Court, then supervised visitation may be ordered with the named person as supervisor.

In all cases of visitation, the standard applied by the court in Maryland is what is in the best interest of the child or children. Generally, the courts in Maryland today believe that it is in a child’s best interest to have regular access to both parents. However in cases in which a parent is found to be “unfit” such as in cases of sever e mental illness, violence or dependency on alcohol or drugs, the court will act first to protect the child from harm, and generally will order the fit parent to be the sole custodian and the unfit parent to have supervised visitation.

Supervised child visitation orders are also subject to modification by the court. If the behavior of the parent that caused the court to order supervised visitation is changed, the court can change the structure of visitation to unsupervised or even joint custody.

Are you seeking a Child Custody and Visitation Attorney in Maryland? Contact the Law Office of Kendall Summers today!

If you are a parent in need of legal assistance with child custody or visitation, the Law Office of Kendall Summers can help you. Call our offices and we will talk with you about your case and help you to understand your options. An attorney with our office can help you to bring your case within the legal system. If your child is in need of protection, our attorneys will aggressively pursue your case.