• Helping Your Child Adjust to Visitation

    After a divorce or legal separation, you and your ex will follow a court-ordered parenting plan. This document establishes the type of child custody that both parents will have and it specifies when the child will be with each parent. Visitation is difficult to adjust to for both parents and children, but as time passes, the arrangement will start to feel more normal. Remember that it is possible to petition for a modification of the visitation schedule as your child grows and situations change. Talk to a family law attorney near Owings Mills for guidance. visitation - rights

    Maintaining a Routine

    Try to imagine how difficult it must be for a child to live in two separate households with two separate routines and sets of rules. Consistency across both households will help your child feel more secure and may even curb problematic behaviors as he or she grows older. Ideally, you and your ex can maintain similar daily routines and household rules, such as finishing homework before playtime and having dinner by a certain time.

    Feeling at Home

    If you’re the parent who moved out of the family home, you have the added challenge of helping your child feel at home in the new residence. Your child should have a bedroom of his or her own. Your child should arrange and decorate the bedroom to take ownership of the space. Extravagance is not necessary, but comfort is. Resist the temptation to purchase lots of new toys for your child for the purpose of distracting him or her from the new arrangement. Instead, focus on spending quality time together enjoying activities that you would normally do with your child.

    Handling Overnights

    Overnight visitation can be stressful for young children, particularly during school breaks when a child might live away from the primary residence for a week or longer. Do not take it as an insult if your child expresses homesickness or misses the other parent. Encourage your child to share these feelings openly and offer judgment-free reassurances.

    Staying Connected

    Children should always feel free to contact either of their parents regardless of which parent they are currently with. Phone calls, text messaging, and video calls strengthen the child’s relationship with each parent. Whenever it’s practical to do so, give your child privacy as he or she chats with the other parent.

  • Types of Protective Orders

    A type of restraining order, known as a protective order, is a type of court order that plays an integral role in domestic violence law in Baltimore County . Protective orders are usually, but not exclusively, issued against other family members, household members, or former intimate partners. Family court attorneys can help you obtain an appropriate type of protective order. Your attorney will typically obtain a temporary order first, prior to being able to request a permanent order of protection. A temporary protective order goes into effect for no longer than six months, although it is typically in place for a much shorter period of time. Despite the name, a permanent protective order is not actually permanent. It goes into effect for a longer period of time; it may last for months or up to a year. However, your attorney may be able to get the protective order renewed or extended if you are still in danger.

    Maryland domestic law also classifies these court orders according to whether the petitioner has had a relationship with the harasser or abuser. If so, then it is officially known as a protective order. If not, then your attorney will request a peace order on your behalf.

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  • Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

    Under Maryland divorce laws, marriages can be ended through either contested or uncontested divorces. Uncontested divorces require the least amount of conflict and legal wrangling by divorce lawyers, but they are not appropriate for all cases. When you meet with a lawyer in Owings Mills about your divorce case, he or she will help you understand your options and determine which type of divorce is right for you. Here is a look at the differences between these two types of cases.

    Contested Divorce

    Contested Divorce Contested divorces occur when the parties cannot agree on at least one aspect of the divorce agreement, such as division of property, child custody and support, and alimony. For a contested divorce, one person must file a divorce petition with the courts, and the divorce papers must be served to the other party, who then must answer the petition. Typically, a contested divorce will make an accusation that the one party in the marriage committed an act that is considered grounds for divorce under Maryland law, such as adultery or desertion. In the response, the other party must file a defense against those charges and may make counter-charges against the filing party. Contested divorce agreements are determined by a judge after a lengthy period of negotiations between divorce lawyers and, if then necessary, testimony by both parties. The decree issued by the judge, which can take up 18 months or more to receive, is binding and can only be changed through further legal proceedings.

    Uncontested Divorce

    An uncontested divorce is possible when both parties can agree with all of the issues surrounding the divorce. Although uncontested divorces must still be filed with the court, only one party usually needs to appear before a judge, and typically the court simply ratifies whatever agreement is put in place through negotiations between the two parties. Although giving a reason for the divorce is often required, most couples in uncontested divorces find it easiest to use the grounds of being voluntarily separated for one year, since it doesn’t put blame on either party specifically. Because uncontested divorces require less back and forth in the courts, they can often be completed in about three months.