When parents get divorced, child custody is one of the biggest issues to be sorted out. If they cannot come to an agreement outside of court, a judge may decide on the custody arrangement, taking several factors into account. The Baltimore County child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC have successfully handled all types of family law cases for more than 30 years.
Here are some of the most common child custody issues we see:
Best interest of the child: Courts will take several factors into consideration when deciding what is in the best interest of the child. This is including the mental and physical fitness of each parent; the parents’ employment and financial resources; and the ability to maintain family relationships. The judge may consider the child’s preference, depending on the child’s age and maturity level.
Legal custody vs. physical custody: Legal custody grants the right to make decisions relating to the welfare of the child, such as where they will go to school, what religion they will practice, and what health care they will have.
Physical custody refers to where the child will live most of the time; usually one parent is awarded sole custody, and the other is granted visitation rights.
Shared custody vs. sole custody: In a shared custody arrangement, the child spends approximately the same amount of time with each parent. However, when one parent is awarded sole custody, the child will live with that parent, then see the other parent according to an established visitation schedule.
Interstate custody: Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, courts must take several factors into consideration to determine which Court is the appropriate one to bring a custody action. These include whether the child resided in the state for at least six months prior to the legal action; whether the child has significant connections with people in the state; and whether the child is being moved for his or her own safety.
Relocation: When parents live in different states, it makes shared custody nearly impossible. The recent introduction of virtual visitation, which involves contacting a child through technology such as email, video or text messaging, has made it easier for parents to communicate with their children, despite the distance between them.
Exchange, Interference & Abduction: Parents who are violent during a child custody exchange, or who interfere with custody or visitation, risk losing custody of the child. Parental abduction, or kidnapping, is a very serious matter that can lead to criminal penalties.
Third parties: Courts will generally give preference to the child’s natural parents. However, in cases where the parents are unfit, third parties may be considered for custody. In Maryland, grandparents may petition the court for visitation any time after a divorce. However, absent consent by the parents, it is unlikely that visitation would be granted.
Baltimore County Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Assist Parents with All Types of Custody Issues
At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, our Baltimore County child custody lawyers understand the difficulties – both emotional and legal – associated with child custody disputes. If you are involved in a child custody dispute or you have any questions regarding the legal issues associated with child custody, contact us online or call us at 443-589-0150. We represent clients throughout Maryland including Towson, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Columbia, Carroll County, Essex, Harford County, Howard County, Hunt Valley and Westminster.