Child support vs. Visitation: The Great Struggle.

Many clients will call my office needing advice because they are paying child support, yet being denied or limited in their visitation with the child(ren) in some way.  Logically, if you are paying for something, you should receive something in return, right? Well, not necessarily.  You see, child support is an obligation that each parent owes to their child.  Access to the child is a right that each parent has, just as a parent.  The two things are mutually exclusive.

It can be difficult for many clients to understand, but paying child support does not establish your rights to visitation.  Additionally, the reverse is also true.  Failure to pay child support does not in itself terminate a parents right to have access to their child.

It is not uncommon for custodial parents to use access to the child(ren), to force the non-custodian parent into a particular course of action.  This is highly frowned upon in family court.  Nevertheless, when addressing the issue of visitation, the court is tasked with deciding what is in the “best interest” of the child.  To reach this conclusion, there are factors that the court examines–  none of which is the amount of child support being paid.

Dealing with issues in family court can take an emotional and financial toll.  These matters are often times complex and require time and effort to put the pieces together.  Therefore, if you believe you are being denied visitation or access to your child, you should speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss your rights and options.


Married with no kids in common and seeking a divorce?

On October 1, 2015, new divorce laws went into effect in Maryland.  You and your spouse may be able to get a divorce based on mutual consent, and may not be required to be separated for one year prior to filing for divorce.

To find out if you can proceed under Maryland’s new mutual consent grounds, contact our office for a consultation by calling (301) 744-7996 or (301) 851-1020.




Do you have a family law matter but not thousands of dollars for a retainer? Consider “unbundled” legal services with our office.

The Law Office now does “unbundled” or limited scope family law matters.  For example, if you only need legal documents to be reviewed, we can do that for you without having you pay an extraordinary retainer fee that is normally associated with family law matters.  Limited scope representation allows you to address your concerns and save money at the same time.

If this sounds like something that works in your situation, please contact my office to schedule a consultation.