Child custody cases are emotional and personal. Knowing your legal rights and the options for child custody can simplify and calm the complex process. If you have questions regarding child custody in Maryland, this article will address several key elements of child custody laws in Maryland. Read on to find out how child custody is determined, types of child custody, what is “best interest” of a child, and how to change child custody in Maryland.
How is Child Custody Decided in Maryland?
Legally, the law assumes no bias between each natural parent and largely determines custody based on the best interest of the child. Either parent may appeal for custody of their child, from sole custody to setting a specific schedule.
If the parties cannot agree on custody, the court can be used to determine the child custody agreement. Factors influencing child custody include financial means, personal character, child preference, and even extreme religious views.
When a spouse believes child custody must be legally enforced, the court will use these and many factors to influence their decision. So you may want to be prepared for a legal defense!
Types of Child Custody in Maryland
While many parents have simple joint custody, there are several forms of custody that can all be customized to your specific situation. Emergency custody is the option for a parent who feels they or their child are in immediate danger.
This is not a permanent solution, but it provides legal protection for parents protecting their child.
Joint custody is a popular option that allows parents to work together and share responsibility for the child.
This is often the most amicable option, and allows parents to also have shared physical custody as well. In extreme situations, a parent may also request sole custody, meaning they are the only parent with legal and/or physical custody. If you’re unsure of which child support option is right for you, reach out to an attorney for your options.
What is Considered “Best Interest” in Maryland Child Custody Law?
Maryland determines child custody based largely on the best interest of the child. Several factors from both parties can influence the “best interest” of the child.
One consideration is the primary care situation. This is based on which parent is currently providing the most active care for the child, such as shelter.
The courts will also consider family and personal relationships, often favoring a parent who can maintain the most consistent relationships with other family members.
Location is also a primary factor, especially based on each parent’s distance from the child’s school and the cost of transportation, especially if legal visitation is required.
There are several legal options when attempting to strengthen a child custody case. If you have questions, a professional attorney can talk you through the specifics that influence your case.
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Our Maryland child custody attorneys are available to defend your custody & visitation rights in Maryland. We accomplish your support & family legal goals while telling your story.
We protect your rights and your family during your child custody matters.
Founder and Managing Partner
Solon Phillips, Partner of the General Litigation Group at Remus Enterprises Law Group, is an experienced legal professional with extensive experience working in large law firms while devoting much of his spare time in volunteer work in public service.