Child custody laws vary from state to state. It is in your best interest to find a good custody lawyer in your state if you are seeking custody or your children. Some custody issues can be resolved during divorce proceedings and without much upset. It is the cases where an agreement can’t be reached between the parents that things get sticky. An attorney can help you understand the laws of your state better.
Child custody laws in the state of Maryland are as follows:
The state of Maryland shows no preference as to which parent a child should live with. That means that both mothers and fathers are able to seek custody and have an equal chance at winning. Parents often go for shared custody of the children so that the children spend an equal amount of time with each parent. This is probably the best option for the children in order to have good relationships with both parents.
There are many things that a judge will look at when deciding which parent will get custody of the children. The best interests of the children will always come first. It is in everyone’s best interest for the parents come to a middle ground where children are concerned. It will be less stressful for the children who are already going through enough emotional roller coasters.
Other considerations used include who the primary caregiver has been, physical and mental health of the parent, any abuse allegations, general character and reputation of the parent, any previous agreements by the parents, family relationships, who the child prefers to live with, finances of each parent, previous issues with abandonment of the child and sometimes religion.
The following factors will decide where you can file for custody in the State of Maryland:
If the child lives in the state and Maryland is the home state of the child. This means that the child must reside in the state to include going to school there. The parent must live in the state as well. For instance, you must have family there, work there or vote there.
If the child is not currently in the State of Maryland, it must be shown that he/she lived in the state of Maryland for the last six months. The parent that is filing for custody must also currently reside in the state.
The child and at least one parent must have significant bonds with the state of Maryland in order for the parent to file for custody. That means that the parent has to be able to show that Maryland is and will continue to be the state of residence for the child and parent. Items that can be used as proof are records, such as doctor or dentist, schooling, work and family.
If the child is physically in the state of Maryland and has been abandoned or emergency protection is needed. The child must have been threatened with physical harm or evidence of abuse or neglect must be shown before the emergency protection is issued.
Other issues come into play when the parents are not married. Paternity must first be established. This comes in the form of blood tests to determine that the father is actually the parent. If either parent disputes the fact that a man is the father, the blood tests will be required in order for the father to claim rights to his child. If both parents agree that he is the father, these tests become unnecessary. The father will have to acknowledge that he is the father. This is done with a written statement.
When both parents agree to how custody should be split up, it is much easier for everyone. It is important to note that you should still seek out legal advice. Make a written agreement between the two parents to decide how time will be split. Include the smallest of details so that future possible issues will be resolved before they start. Include everything from how much time the children will spend with each parent to what Holidays the children will go with each parent.
It is important for your children to have as stable a life as can be provided for them. Always look at their best interests before putting them in the middle of a bad custody battle that only puts them in the middle of a bitter fight. It’s not fair to them and it’s really unnecessary. If you find yourself in the middle of a bitter battle with your ex, look for a lawyer that specializes in child custody in the state of Maryland. An attorney can be of great benefit in keeping the fights as tame as possible.