Maryland Child Custody Lawyer

When it comes to handling child custody disputes, it is important to have an experienced and qualified legal representation in your corner from the start of the process. A seasoned family law attorney could help ensure that your children’s best interests are upheld while pursuing the most advantageous custody arrangement possible. A Maryland child custody lawyer could help you understand your legal rights and safeguard your child(ren)’s well-being in and out of the courtroom.

The Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody

State law recognizes two different types of custody in terms of parental rights: legal and physical. A parent who is granted sole legal custody has the ability to make decisions about where the child goes to school, the medical care they receive, and their religious upbringing. Most often, the courts grant joint legal custody whereby both parties must communicate and agree on the major decisions in their children’s lives.

On the other hand, physical custody indicates who the child actually lives with primarily. A parent awarded sole or primary physical custody will have overnight access with the child the majority of the time, and the non-custodial parent will have visitation and access on a regular schedule. A Maryland attorney could help a parent who is in the midst of a custody battle better understand the laws governing child-sharing arrangements and build a compelling case to present to a judge on their behalf.

Child Support Considerations in Maryland

Another important issue that goes hand in hand with custody decisions is child support. State law has established the Maryland Child Support Guidelines, which are a mathematical formula that is mandatory on the judges unless a case can be made that the application of the Guidelines to a particular case is unjust. The formula depends on the gross monthly income of both parents with the following expenses taken into account: work-related daycare, health insurance payments, and extraordinary medical expenses, as well as other payments such as private school or pre-school tuition payments, if applicable.

Sole Versus Joint Custodial Rights

When it comes to granting custody, a family court may award sole or shared physical custodial rights to one or both parents, and the court may award sole or joint legal custody to one or both of the parents. For instance, one parent may be awarded sole physical custody of their child, while both parents could be granted joint legal decision-making rights.

If the court awards only one parent with sole legal custody, that parent would be authorized to make major decisions regarding the well-being of their child. It should also be noted that there are many different facets of physical custody arrangements that could be ordered by a judge, from sole and shared to shared equally on a 50/50 basis.

In arrangements where physical custody is shared, the number of overnights each parent has determines how the child support calculations are derived, and the Maryland Child Support Guidelines take into account that each parent will be paying for the child’s expenses – exclusive of any required child support payments while in their care. It is best to work with a child custody lawyer in Maryland to learn more about the obligations associated with sole versus joint custodial arrangements.

Speak with a Maryland Child Custody Attorney Today

If you are dealing with a custody battle, you do not have to face the legal process on your own. A skilled Maryland child custody lawyer could fight to protect your parental rights and advocate for the most favorable arrangement for you and your children.

Experienced representation could answer any questions you may have regarding custody laws in Maryland and how they may affect your rights as a parent moving forward. Call now to speak with a professional about your case.