Child Custody Attorney in Towson, Maryland
In divorce cases involving children, child custody is a vital issue that must be sorted out before the divorce can be finalized. The divorcing spouses must develop a parenting plan that outlines custody, parental responsibility, and visitation schedules. However, if both parents are unable to agree on a feasible parenting plan, the Maryland circuit courts will step in and help determine custody based on the child's best interests and welfare.
If you are considering filing for divorce and want to understand how to establish or modify child custody arrangements, you need to speak with an experienced Maryland family law attorney for proper guidance. At Lebovitz Law LLC, Richard Lebovitz has the experience and resources to support and guide clients through the complexities involved in establishing child custody agreements. As your legal counsel, he can offer you the comprehensive legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need to establish a child custody arrangement, create a workable parenting plan, or modify an existing custody decree.
Lebovitz Law LLC proudly serves clients in Towson, Baltimore County, and throughout Maryland, as well as York, Pennsylvania.
Establishing a Child
In a divorce or legal separation, it is important to establish a child custody agreement. This will help determine the expected duties, rights, and responsibilities of each parent. There are two possible ways to establish a child custody arrangement in Maryland. These include:
Uncontested Custody Arrangement
In an uncontested child custody arrangement, both parents are able to work together to determine mutually acceptable custody terms. This option offers a cost-effective and faster way to establish custody. Both parties will have more control over the final custody arrangement and parenting plan. All terms agreed upon must be drafted and presented to the circuit court for official approval. An experienced attorney can help evaluate your unique situation and keep the conversation on track.
Contested Custody Arrangement
In a contested custody arrangement, both parents are unable to agree on the terms of the custody or parenting plan. The Maryland circuit courts will step in and help resolve custody issues. Child custody will be determined based on the best interests and welfare of the child. Should your custody case end up in court, a skilled family law lawyer can help present your case diligently and improve your chances of achieving the best possible outcome.
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody
In a Maryland divorce case, if the parents are unable to agree on who should have custody of their child, the court will grant custody either solely to one parent (sole custody) or shared between both parents (joint custody).
Joint Custody: In joint custody, both parents share physical and legal child custody. Both parents will work together to create a schedule for when either parent will be with the child. Likewise, both parents must agree on all decisions pertaining to the child.
Sole Custody: Conversely, in sole custody, the judge will award physical and legal custody to a single parent. This usually occurs when the court considers the other parent unfit to raise the child. This may be due to financial instability, domestic violence, or substance abuse.
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
Furthermore, custody may be classified into two categories: physical and legal custody.
Legal Custody: Legal custody involves the right and obligation to make vital decisions about the upbringing of the child. Legal custody deals with common issues such as education, healthcare, discipline, religious training, joining the military, and other crucial matters affecting the child's welfare.
Physical Custody: Physical custody involves the right and obligation to take care of a child physically. The child will live with the parent who has physical custody. He or she will handle activities such as preparing meals, taking the child to school, and other daily activities. The other parent may have specified visitation rights.
Factors Considered in
In a contested child custody case, the circuit courts consider the unique facts and circumstances of the case to determine which custody arrangement will serve the best interests of the child. Under Maryland law, the following factors may be considered to determine custody:
The fitness of each parent
The character and reputation of each parent
The child's reasonable preference
The parent's wishes
The age, health, and sex of the child
What each parent wants regarding custody and any agreements they have made
The possibility of maintaining family relationships
The material opportunities each parent can offer that affect the child's future
The residences of each parent, including opportunities for visitation and geographic proximity of the parental homes
The length of the child's separation from the parent
Whether either parent has voluntarily abandoned or surrendered the child
The employment demands of the parents
The financial situation of each of the parents
Any possible disruption of the child's schooling and social life
Any other factor considered relevant by the court
Every child custody case is unique. An experienced attorney can evaluate your unique situation and work meticulously with both parties to address and settle custody matters amicably.
Modifying an Existing
Child Custody Arrangement
In Maryland, the circuit court has the power to modify child custody or parenting time provided that the requesting parent can demonstrate that:
There has been a "material change of circumstances" that makes the current order ineffective.
A new custody order will serve the best interests of your child.
Below are some major life events that allow you to request for the modification of an existing child custody order:
Loss of job by the custodial parent
A change in either parent's situation or physical and mental health
A change in either parent's work schedule
The custodial parent is acting negligent or abusive
A change in the child’s needs
One parent refuses to adhere to the custody terms
Perceived danger to the child
One parent has continually and unreasonably denied the other parent visitation
The death of the custodial parent
A knowledgeable family law attorney can help protect your custody rights and enlighten you about your available legal options to modify the current child custody decree.
Work with Lebovitz Law LLC
for Compassionate Counsel
& Honest Advocacy
Determining who gets custody in a Maryland divorce is often a contentious issue that is fiercely contested. Establishing a parenting plan with your ex-spouse, allocating parenting time, and determining parental responsibility can make the entire process even more complicated and overwhelming. Therefore, if you are trying to create or change a child custody arrangement, consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is paramount for proper counsel and honest advocacy.
Lebovitz Law LLC is committed to offering compassionate legal counsel, support, and brilliant advocacy to clients in family law matters, including child custody and parenting time. As your legal counsel, Richard Lebovitz will review all the surrounding circumstances of your personal situation and explore your possible legal options. He can work diligently with both parties to establish a workable parenting plan – including child custody, parental responsibility, child care and education, medical care, and child support – and resolve relationship differences peacefully and amicably.
Child Custody Attorney
Serving Towson, Maryland
If you need proper guidance establishing or modifying a child custody agreement, contact Lebovitz Law LLC today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Richard Lebovitz can offer you the knowledgeable legal counsel, support, and reliable advocacy you need to make informed decisions. The firm serves clients in Towson, Baltimore County, and throughout Maryland, as well as York, Pennsylvania.