Child Visitation in Washington, DC
In the District of Columbia, child visitation issues can be among the most stressful family matters with which you will ever have to deal. It can be stressful not only for you, but for the children as well. In some of the more contentious cases, the other parent may fight over visitation just to get back at you or to make your life more difficult. While this is not always the case, visitation cases can seem like a downward spiral where nobody is happy.
The best thing you can do to try to prevent this from happening in your case is to make sure you have an experienced child custody law firm on your side – an attorney who will not only fight for your rights and for the best interest of your child, but also an attorney who will listen to your concerns and deal with the other parent, so you do not have to. These matters are stressful enough, and you shouldn’t have to spend time arguing with your child’s other parent when you have more important things to do.
Factors Affecting Child Visitation in Washington, DC
Much like child custody, any decision an associate judge will make pertaining to visitation of a child must be in the best interests of the child. This is not only the standard in child visitation cases in the District of Columbia, but also it is the gold standard in resolving all family law issues in which children are involved. This has been the prevailing view of courts across the country for many years.
It is the general preference of the courts in Washington, DC to allow a non-custodial parent to have unsupervised visitation with his or her minor child. The court will require both parents to take a parenting course that is held on Saturdays at the District of Columbia court, but that is the only basic requirement.
The way this typically works is the parents will agree as to when and where unsupervised visitations will occur. If the minor child or children are of school age, visitation will often be held on the weekends. The parents can agree where the exchanges will occur, including pickup and drop-off of the child. In cases where the parties are on good terms with each other, the exchanges can occur at their respective homes. When the parties live a far distance apart, sometimes they will agree to meet somewhere in the middle, so as not inconvenience either party any more than necessary. On the other, hand, if the parties cannot get along or there are one or two civil protection orders (restraining orders) in place, the exchange can happen at a police station, for example. If the parties cannot agree, the judge will fashion an order he or she deems to be in the best interest of the child.
If the court has been made aware of a reason that it might be dangerous for one parent to have unsupervised visitation with a minor child, such as an abuse allegation, the court can order child visitation to be held at the Supervised Visitation Center for the D.C. Superior Court.
The family law attorneys at DiPietro Family Law Group have years of experience handling domestic relations cases in jurisdictions across Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland. Contact us to schedule a consultation today at (202) 609-7446.