Helping shed some light on the all-important issue of child custody

When heading into the unfamiliar territory of a divorce, it’s understandable how people would want to learn as much as possible about the entire process, especially those areas in which they have a vested interest.

For instance, a Baby Boomer heading to divorce court after decades of marriage likely wants to learn as much as possible about the division of retirement accounts, while those who have been married for only a short time may want to discover more about uncontested divorce.

Still others, however, want to learn as much as possible about child custody, as it is far and away the issue that matters to them most.

In today’s post, the first in a series, our blog will focus on child custody here in Maryland in an attempt to provide people with further insight and hopefully some peace of mind during undoubtedly turbulent times.

The different types of custody

While most people understandably want to focus as much as possible on the issue of how often they’ll get to see their children after a divorce, it’s important to understand that this is really just one of two major issues that will be considered by the court.

Specifically, when spouses cannot agree on custody, the court will decide both physical custody and legal custody arrangements. In the former, this means that the court will establish living arrangements for the child and, if necessary, a visitation schedule, while in the latter, this means the court will establish the right to participate in important decisions related to the child’s welfare (school, religion, non-emergency medical care, etc.).

This isn’t the end of the matter, however, as there are a multitude of possible child custody arrangements that can determined by the court. For example, it could award sole physical custody, sole legal custody or both. Conversely, it could order joint legal custody and shared physical custody, or joint legal custody and sole physical custody.

We’ll outline each of these possible custody arrangements in our next post, and also start discussing the standard used by Maryland courts to determine both physical and legal custody.

If you would like to learn more about child custody matters, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can outline the law, analyze your situation and take the necessary actions as soon as possible.

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Anne Arundel County

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