Are you trying to get more parenting or visitation time with your child? It is important to be proactive – whether you are just talking about divorce, in the middle of a custody dispute, or if you feel you are ready for increased time with your child. All custody and visitation cases are unique, but there are some common steps every parent can take to ensure they are doing all they can to maximize their parenting time. Consider these five tips.
1. Create a mutually agreeable visitation plan
When trying to build a child custody plan that works for everyone, the best chance for a successful outcome is to create it in partnership with the other parent. When you are able to work together, this shows the court that you can both cooperate and communicate for the well-being of your child. After you create your parenting plan, your family law attorney can look it over and submit it to the court to ensure it is legally binding.
In the event you and your co-parent are unable to come to resolution, you can also look into mediation as an alternative to having the court making decisions for you.
2. Maximize the time you already have
If you want more time with your child or children, ensure you are making the most of the time you already have. For example, many parents add provisions into their custody and visitation plans called “first right of refusal.” This means that if the parent with primary custody is unable to care for the child at their scheduled time, they are required to reach out to the other parent before asking a third party to care for the child. Adding clauses like this to your custody agreement shows that you are always willing to make your child your number-one priority.
3. Ensure you’re involved as much as possible
When planning to request a child custody modification, your co-parent and the court will want to see that you are an involved parent and are already using your parenting time to the fullest extent. This means no cancelled visits, no skipping scheduled video chats or texts. It also means going above and beyond – checking in consistently, involvement in your child’s academic life, their extracurriculars, as well as the good and the bad. It is important to show that you are not just the “weekend” or “fun” parent when seeking more responsibilities.
4. Co-parent effectively
Because the courts decide only in the best interest of the child, they want to see parents who communicate openly and cooperatively, presenting a united front. When parents can get along for the welfare of the child and are willing to make compromises, there is a much better chance of creating a mutually agreeable parenting plan that works for the entire family.
5. Request a home custody evaluation
In cases where you believe your custody or modification request will be denied, you can request the court to perform an in-home evaluation. This can be especially helpful if you believe your co-parent or other party has made allegations about your parenting or caretaking abilities. A successful in-home evaluation can go a long way in building a strong case on your behalf.
At McCabe Russell, P.A., we are here to help. Whether you are seeking to modify a child custody order or are in the middle of a custody dispute, we provide strong, experienced representation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys by calling 443-917-3347 or reaching out to us through our contact form today. We maintain offices in Bethesda, Fulton, Columbia, and Rockville.
At McCabe Russell, PA, we have an established reputation as assertive and confident negotiators and litigators, offering legal guidance designed to eliminate any of our clients’ worries and confusion. We are experienced family law attorneys in Howard and Montgomery County, but we serve clients throughout Maryland. Read more about McCabe Russell, PA.