Ellicott City Child Custody Lawyer
Nearly all parents want what is best for their child. During divorce and separation, tempers are bound to flare up, and the child often gets caught in between. As such, child custody disputes can get out of hand very quickly, and can be difficult to solve without mediation, and potentially a judge’s intervention. No matter the case, you need an experienced Ellicott City child custody lawyer on your side. Here at Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C., our child custody lawyers can help you win your child custody dispute so that your child has the best future possible.
How Maryland Family Courts Makes Child Custody Decisions
When two parents cannot come to an agreement on how to divide child custody rights, the matter is solved in court. The court always chooses in favor of the child’s best interests. Factors that may be involved in this decision include the following:
- Physical and mental fitness of each parent;
- Who has been the child’s primary caregiver up until now?
- Proximity of each parent to family members who can help raise the child;
- Work schedule of each parent, and their ability to devote their time to their child;
- Child’s preference, if the court decides they are old enough to weigh in;
- Any history of a parent walking out on the family;
- Ability of each parent to support the relationship between their child and their child’s other parent; and
Types of Child Custody
- Sole Legal Custody—One parent has all legal decision making capacity, including full decision making regarding where the child lives, where they go to school, healthcare decisions, the child’s day to day schedule, and more.
- Joint Legal Custody—Both parents have the aforementioned legal decision making capacity.
- Sole Physical Custody—The child only lives with one parent, while the other may or may not be granted visitation rights.
- Joint Physical Custody—Both parents have physical custody. In order for physical custody to be shared, the child must spend the night with each parent at least 35 percent of the time throughout the year.
Visitation rights may be granted to a non-custodial parent (a parent with no legal custody or physical custody). Numerous studies, according to Stat News, show that, in most cases, children do best when both parents are present in their lives, and particularly when parents have shared responsibility in raising them (shared custody). However, the courts do not always grant shared custody. Visitation may be the next best option. As with all custody decisions, the court will favor whatever it believes is in the child’s best interests.
Contact an Ellicott City Child Custody Attorney Today
In Maryland, parents who have been issued a child custody complaint by the parent seeking custody have 30 days to respond. Do not wait. Whether you are in the middle of divorce, have just begun discussing divorce or separation, or are already separated, you need to protect your custody rights by acting now. Call our Ellicott City child custody attorneys at Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C today at 410-997-0203 to schedule a consultation.