Understanding What Gets Accounted for with a Child Custody Decision in Maryland
When you’re in the midst of a divorce and have children, then of course one of the most important issues at stake is child custody. Therefore, it’s important to understand what the court will actually use to determine child custody cases in Maryland.
In fact, there’s actually a written list of factors that the court will use to determine Maryland child custody cases. Keep in mind, there is no exact formula to determine which criteria get how much weight, or what the ultimate deciding factor will be. Each case is different, and the circumstances involved from one to another vary greatly.
Ultimately, the number one guiding principle is that the decision is made in the best interests of the child. Using that as a starting point, factors which may be utilized include:
- Child’s desires
- Material advantages
- Fitness of the parents
- Character and reputation
- Desire of natural parents
- Agreements between the parties
- Potential of maintaining natural family
- Age, health, and sex of the child
- Residences of parents and visitation
- Length of separation from natural parents
- Prior voluntary abandonment or surrender
Many of the specific factors above were established with prior court decisions and now have legal precedence to be used in other cases.
For joint custody cases, the best interest of the child is still the first and foremost factor. In addition to all of the above factors which may come into the equation though, there are other issues to consider, such as the willingness of the parents to share custody, and their ability to communicate and reach shared decisions regarding the child’s welfare, amongst others.
There are many other circumstances to consider as well, from grandparent visitation to third party visitation, to issues pertaining to the relocation of a child and/or parent.
All of this is only scratching the surface for what may be factoring into your Maryland child custody decision. If you’re facing divorce and are seeking to protect your rights for child custody, then be sure to seek immediate legal assistance.
Call the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein at 240.395.1418 today and we’ll schedule a free consultation to begin discussing your case and how we may be able to help you win your fight for child custody in Maryland.