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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

Four Types of Child Visitation Schedules in Maryland


If a divorced couple has minor children in Maryland, then the parents must establish a child visitation schedule. These schedules help break down the specifics of child support, ensuring that both parents play a role in their children’s lives. In many cases, the parents are able to work together and isolate a mutually agreeable child visitation schedule. But if the parents cannot agree, then the Maryland courts step and determine an appropriate child visitation schedule.

Before progressing any further, it will be beneficial to review the Maryland definitions for custodial and non-custodial parents. The custodial parent assumes full responsibility for the children on a day-to-day basis. The non-custodial parent does not live with the children, but they do have certain legal rights.

Moving past the comparison of custodial and non-custodial parents, the following sections will outline four types of child visitation schedules in Maryland.

  1. Flexible Visitation Schedule

A flexible visitation schedule allows the former spouses to work together and craft a mutually acceptable arrangement. This type of schedule allows the parents to establish general visitation rights, while leaving some flexibility for schedule adjustments. In this way, both the custodial and non-custodial parents can play a regularly active role in their children’s lives.

  1. Fixed Visitation Schedule

A fixed visitation schedule allows the former spouses to establish a set routine for child visitation rights. This arrangement is typically best for spouses who are on bad terms and do not want to deal with each other on a regular basis. Once the custodial and non-custodial parents decide upon a fixed schedule, the court will approve and formalize their agreement. At that point, the parents must adhere to the court’s fixed visitation schedule, although they may periodically mutually agree to depart from that schedule.

  1. Supervised Visitation Schedule

A supervised visitation schedule restricts the visitation rights of a non-custodial parent to preserve the best interests of the children involved. This type of arrangement typically occurs when the non-custodial parent can bring value to their children’s lives, but had issues with domestic violence or substance abuse in the past. In most cases, a third-party representative — such as a counselor, social worker or similar agent — provides the necessary supervision during child visits.

  1. Zero Visitation Schedule

A zero visitation schedule prohibits a non-custodial parent from seeing their children. This type of arrangement is sometimes necessary to protect the children from an abusive parent. Essentially, the court determines that child visitation with a non-custodial parent could result in harm to the children involved. This is an extreme measure that is only appropriate when necessary to protect children in extraordinary circumstances.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are struggling to isolate a suitable child visitation schedule in Maryland, it can be extraordinarily valuable to engage the services of a talented family law attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.

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