Child custody involves more than just time with your child. Custody grants a parent the power to make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, future, and care. Parents in Clarksville, MD, therefore, have a deep emotional investment in how custody and visitation arrangements are settled. In order to ensure your parental rights are being protected throughout custody arrangement proceedings, it is vital that you partner with a qualified and experienced Clarksville child custody lawyer.
When a child’s parents split up and are unable to come to their own agreement, Maryland courts will step in and make custody arrangements and decisions regarding visitation.
Though hiring an attorney in family law cases is optional, child custody cases should be handled with the help and guidance of a skilled and compassionate lawyer. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, can advocate on your behalf, discussing your options with you and developing strong arguments to present in your case to achieve the most favorable outcome.
There are two types of child custody recognized in Maryland:
Being granted legal custody of a child does not indicate how much physical custody you will be granted. In fact, Maryland courts may grant sole or shared custody to either or both types of custody. This means there are four total custody arrangements:
A parent with sole physical custody would be known as the custodial parent, while the other would be referred to as the non-custodial parent. Visitation, then, refers to the rights given to the non-custodial parent to spend time with their child.
When amicable, this schedule can be worked out and determined between both parents. Otherwise, alternative dispute resolutions, such as mediation, can be used to reach a fair agreement on a set visitation schedule. Various considerations will be made when determining what kind of schedule is right for the child. Based on these factors, one of four types of visitation schedules will be chosen:
It is important to remember that custody and visitation arrangements will always be made or granted according to what the court believes will be in the interest of the child, not necessarily the parent.
A: To get custody of your child, you can complete a Complaint for Custody to the Maryland courts asking to grant you custody. The form should be filed in the same Circuit Court in which the child resides. It should be noted that Maryland is not a “mother state” in that it does not favor one parent over another. Instead, custody will be granted to one or both parents, provided they’ve demonstrated an ability to safely care for the child.
A: When a child’s parents split up, an agreement must be reached as to who will have custody and how visitation will be arranged. The couple is given the opportunity to come to an agreement among themselves. However, if no agreement can be reached, the court will assess what is in the interest of the child, award sole or dual custody to one or both parents, and arrange parenting time and visitation schedules.
A: Maryland is not a 50/50 custody state. However, while there is no legal presumption of 50/50 custody, courts will generally favor some sort of shared custody as long as doing so remains in the interest of the child. The court will award all or some custody to each parent. Regardless of the custody arrangement, each parent continues to have a legal obligation to support their kids. Additionally, Maryland does not give maternal preference in arranging custody.
A: Every family is different, and every case is unique. However, there are certain factors judges will typically consider in child custody cases in Maryland. Judges will look at overall parent fitness, each parent’s reputation and character, and prior abandonment.
They will also assess each parent’s residence, geographic proximity, opportunities for visitation, future life opportunities for the child, and potential for maintaining family relations. Lastly, they will consider the age, health, and sex of the child and the child’s preference.
Child custody cases carry extremely emotional tolls for everyone involved, including both parents, their families, and the child. A qualified and experienced lawyer can offer guidance and counsel, but compassionate and dedicated representation will ease much of the burden while you settle into a new chapter. For comprehensive and caring child custody counsel, contact the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, today.
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