Maryland is one of 49 states that have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which makes jurisdictional laws over child custody decisions the same throughout the country. Parents who are unable to agree on a custody arrangement will typically attend a court hearing to create an agreement. Maryland family courts consider all vital details relevant to the child’s health and well-being when determining child custody arrangements. The child’s best interests are the primary motivation in deciding custody matters. If you are facing a child custody hearing, here is what you need to know about each type of custody.
Legal custody of a child refers to the right to make essential decisions about the child’s life and upbringing. A parent with legal custody can choose the child’s school, religious observations, and medical care. Parents with joint legal custody share these decisions. A parent who attempts to alienate the other from these important choices may be taken to court and is required to comply with the custody agreement.
A parent with physical custody has the right to have the child live with them. Shared physical custody is an option for children who spend a good deal of time with both parents. If the child lives primarily with one parent, he or she is considered the custodial parent. Except in rare circumstances, the noncustodial parent has the right to parenting time or visitation with the child.
In some cases, one parent retains sole legal custody or sole physical custody of the child. Sole custody is typically granted when the other parent is unfit to care for the child for one reason or another. This is often the case when a parent is known to have a dependency on drugs or alcohol or is suspected of abuse or neglect. In most cases, even if one parent has sole physical custody, both parents still have joint legal custody, meaning they make decisions together about the child’s upbringing. One parent is the primary physical caretaker, while the other maintains liberal visitation.
Parents can either have joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or joint legal and physical custody. Parents who share joint custody agree upon a schedule that meets their needs and is good for the child. The child may alternate days, weeks, and holidays between both parents. If parents cannot agree upon a feasible parenting plan, they can ask the court to do so for them.
Baltimore County Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Parents Resolve Tough Child Custody Matters
With smart legal counsel and a priority on the child’s welfare, Baltimore child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC help clients achieve the best resolution for their child custody matters. Creating a child custody agreement that makes everyone happy is challenging but it can be done. Take the first step to a peaceful new beginning and schedule a free consultation today by calling us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online. With office locations in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout the state.