In a Maryland child custody case, the primary factor in deciding who will be awarded custody is the best interests of the children. However, that concept is anything but cut and dry. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for a Maryland child custody case. The court examines a number of factors when determining parental fitness and the best interests of each child.
12 Factors That Affect Your Maryland Child Custody Case
In Maryland, parents can be awarded legal custody, joint legal custody or physical custody. Legal custody governs the right and obligation of each parent to make long-range choices about the child’s education, religion, discipline, healthcare and other matters of importance. Parents without legal custody can still make day-to-day decisions about child welfare when they have physical custody. Physical custody
Reputation or character of each party
The preferences of parents
Any existing agreements between each party
Potential for maintaining natural family relations
The preferences of the child
Material opportunities affecting the future life of the child
The age, health and sex of the child
Where each parent lives
Opportunities for visitation available
The length of separation between child and parent
Past voluntary surrender or abandonment
All of these factors will be examined in determining what is best for the children involved in the Maryland child custody case.
What Determines If Joint Custody Is Awarded?
Determining joint custody is a process that requires a certain degree of cooperation from each parent involved. In a case where joint custody is awarded, both parents are given an equal voice in making decisions regarding the child’s welfare. In some cases, the court will provide a “tie-breaker” in the event of disputes after custody is awarded, and the divorce is finalized. Before determining if the parents will share custody, the court will review a wide range of factors, including:
The ability of the parents to communicate with each other
Whether or not the parents can reach shared decisions about the welfare of each child
If parents will cooperate and share custody
The relationship between the child and each parent
The disruption that shared custody could bring to the child’s home life, social life and school life
The demands of each parent’s job (travel, work hours, vacation availability)
The sincerity of each parent’s request
The financial status of parents
The benefits of custody to each parent
Are You in the Midst of a Maryland Child Custody Case? Get Help!
If you are a spouse looking to determine if you are eligible for legal custody, joint custody or physical custody of your child after a divorce, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.