Custody and Visitation
Together, we develop and implement custody and visitation agreements while balancing the best interest of your children and protecting parental rights.
I have the experience as a Maryland custody lawyer with all aspects of custody issues and have worked with both mothers and fathers as well as third parties, such as grandparents in reaching a custody resolution that is in the best interest of the children.
I. Initial Custody Order
As a Maryland Custody lawyer, I frequently assist parents understand what it takes to obtain a custody order in our circuit courts.
The standard for determining custody in Maryland is commonly referred to as the best interests of the child. Over time, case law has given the different factors that the court should look at in determine that the best interests of the child are. These factors are not exhaustive and some will not apply in every case. Nonetheless, they are good guide of that the court needs to learn in the process of the custody hearing.
- Material advantages
- Fitness of the parents
- Character and reputation of parents
- Desire and sincerity of natural parents
- Agreements between the parties
- Potential of maintaining natural family – relationships with the other parent, siblings and relatives
- Ability to provide a stable and appropriate home
- Age, health, and sex of the child
- Residences of parents and opportunities for visitation
- Length of separation from natural parents
- Prior voluntary abandonment or surrender
II. Joint Custody Factors
Where joint custody is requested, the best interest of the child standard remains dispositive. Some of the additional relevant factors to be considered by the court in its analysis are listed in ,Taylor v. Taylor, 306 Md. 290 (1986).
- Ability to Communicate and make decisions about the children
- Willingness of Parents to Share Custody
- Potential Disruption of Child’s Social and School Life
- Geographic Proximity of Parental Homes
- Demands of Parental Employment
- Age and Number of Children
- Sincerity of Parents’ Request
Grandparent visitation/Third Party Visitation
Grandparents and third parties must show prima facia evidence of parental unfitness or exceptional circumstances .
Koshko v. Haining 398 Md. 404, (2007) and Janice M. v. Margaret K. 404 Md. 661 (2008)