By far the most painful part of any breakup is knowing that it may have a negative effect on the children you share. While a child will likely benefit from not being in an environment with battling parents, the transition may be hard, and, in most cases, they will need to split their time between one parent and the other.
When determining child custody, either through mediation or through the court system, it is absolutely imperative that you know your rights, your children’s rights, and what is best for your children going forward. It’s also imperative that you have an experienced, knowledgeable attorney fighting at your side to make certain that the child custody plan that results is as fair to your family as possible.
At Ruben Law Firm our Maryland child custody attorneys are committed to helping each of our clients through the difficult process of child support and child custody determinations. To learn more about our legal services, or to ask a question about your case, please call our offices today at (410) 766-4044.
Many people believe that there are only two types of child custody in Maryland: sole custody or joint custody. But in reality, there are a number of different child custody plans to fit the diverse range of families that come to court seeking custody solutions. Here are the major custody types you may hear about during the child custody process:
Your Maryland divorce attorney can help you understand all of these types of custody in greater depth as well as understand which types of custody might best benefit your child and your family.
First and foremost, child custody is determined in the court system by understanding the best interests of the child. Note that the Maryland system strives to treat men and women equally and believes that the best interests of most children involve time with both their mother and father.
How else does the court determine the best interests of your child or children? Here are just a few of the factors that may be considered, depending on the age and maturity of the child:
Note that a parent’s disability will only affect child custody determinations if that disability directly affects the best interests of the child. Also note that a court may take a child’s opinion into account if the child is older. For example, a mature 16-year-old may well be able to reasonably voice his or her best interests to the court without a problem.
In most cases, the natural parents of the children–the biological parents, the parents who raised the child, or the adoptive parents–are granted custody of the children in the case of a divorce or break up. However, in some limited cases, the natural parents may be found unfit to parent and it is in the best interests of the child to be raised by a close relative, stepparent, or other figure in their lives. Outside of these circumstances, though, grandparents and other close relatives may petition for visitation rights even if they won’t be granted custody.
While parents can create their own child support plans, they cannot stray far from Maryland’s guidelines, which are fairly specific. While your Maryland divorce lawyer will go over these guidelines in fine detail, here are a few general pieces of information that you should know:
Whether you are determining child custody for the first time, or whether you need to return to court or mediation in an attempt to change the parameters of your child custody agreement, we are here to help. We invite you to contact our offices, meet our team, and see if we are a good fit for your legal representation needs. Please contact our office today online or call us at (410) 766-4044.