How do I get joint physical custody and visitation?

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How do I get joint physical custody and visitation?

My daughter is 10 and has a heart condition and severe scolosis. She was previously taken from me by her dad during the time I lost my job and apartment because of time off from work for her illness. Her ssdi benefits were changed without my consent. I have been working with her dad for the past few years as far as visitation, her health care, school, etc. Recently, he has not been providing visitation.

Asked on December 25, 2012 under Family Law, Maryland

Answers:

Paula McGill / Paula J. McGill, Attorney at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You didn't state what state your daughter currently lives.  You should rewrite the answer and put that state in the question form.  You want to consult with attorneys who are actually licensed in that state because each state has different custody laws.  

Also, if your daughter lives in Maryland with her father and there is a current child support order, you should seek modification of that order.  If this a new order, file the petition for visitation/joint custody in the county where your daughter resides.  In the petition, request legal custody, including the ability to make all medical decisions for her.   In your petition for custody/joint custody, you should also seek child support and require the father to maintain insurance for the child.  

In total, it might be better for you to retain an attorney for the entire matter, or at the minimum, spend the time and money to consult with an attorney in an office visit. 

Also licensed in Maryland. 

 

 

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can file with the court an Order to Show Cause (court form) and a supporting declaration of the facts supporting your claim for joint custody and visitation.  Custody and visitation are separate issues.  Changed circumstances are grounds for a modification of custody and visitation.  When you file your Order to Show Cause with the court, the court will schedule a hearing on these issues.  With your Order to Show Cause and supporting declaration, also file a proof of service with the court.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing a copy of your documents to your ex.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are at least eighteen years of age and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to __________ (name and address of your ex) on ______ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom.  The date you sign the proof of service should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.

Before filing your documents with the court, check with the court clerk to be certain you have filed all of the appropriate documents for a modification of custody and visitation as the required documents may vary from state to state.


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