You care for your children, and you want to ensure that they are able to maintain a successful relationship with you even after divorce or a custody dispute. Even with the changes in modern family dynamics that have taken place over the past decade, there is still a commonly held assumption that family and domestic courts have a bias against fathers. What is the truth about father’s rights in Maryland?
What Are a Father’s Rights in Maryland?
Under Maryland state law, both parents are presumed to be the natural custodians of their children. Instead of favoring the mother or father, the law instead looks at what is in the best interest of the child or children. This standard is used to make decisions in matters of both visitation and child custody. As a result, the law does uphold a father’s rights in Maryland.
What Types of Custody Can Be Arranged?
Maryland courts can order numerous types of custody depending on the situation. As a father, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that your father’s rights in Maryland are upheld. The main types of custody include:
- Temporary Custody: This is custody awarded while a court case is ongoing, and it is based on the best interests of the child.
- Legal Custody: Legal custody allows the parent to make long-term plans and decisions for the religion, education, discipline and medical care of the child.
- Physical Custody: Physical custody concerns spending time with the child and making daily decisions about their needs.
When awarding legal and physical custody, Maryland courts can award:
- Sole legal custody, sole physical custody, or both
- Split custody when there are two or more children and each parent has full physical custody over one or more of the children
- Joint legal custody occurs when both parents are tasked to work together to share control of the upbringing of the child
- Shared physical custody occurs when the child has two separate residences and spends 35% or more of their time with each parent
Protecting Your Father’s Rights in Maryland
One of the key parts of establishing your father’s rights in Maryland is establishing paternity. In Maryland, when a married couple has a child the law assumes that both partners are the parents. However, when an unmarried couple has a child, paternity must be established. This legal process is essential to protect your rights to your child. We can assist you with signing an Affidavit of Parentage, completing DNA testing or bringing a paternity action to the court.
A Lawyer to Help Guard Your Father’s Rights
If you are a father looking to protect your father’s rights in Maryland, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today at (410) 828-0680.