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Maryland child custody litigation: What do judges consider?

To say that child custody disagreements are one of the most difficult parts of a Maryland divorce would be an understatement. Our children are the most precious possessions we have. As such, the threat of not having constant access to them is one of the most terrible things that any parent could imagine. For this reason, child custody disputes are often heated, difficult to a resolve and, if parents cannot come to an agreement, the litigation can be costly.

Grandparents seeking child custody in Maryland

It is not uncommon for Maryland grandparents to seek full custody of their grandchildren if a parent is unable to fulfill his or her childcare responsibilities. These cases are not usually "cut and dry," and they can take time to resolve -- especially if the parent of the child is unwilling to relinquish his or her parental rights.

Are mothers really more likely to get custody?

It hasn't always been the case, but today, fathers are just as likely to obtain custody as mothers. There are a number of factors that play into the decision, so before you assume that you won't be able to obtain custody because of your gender, it's important to understand why a judge is more likely to give a mother custody of a child of a certain age.

What if my child lives in another state?

Most states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Nevertheless, different state courts may have different ways of interpreting the act. As such, if you are involved in a child custody dispute with a spouse who is living in another state, it is important to determine which state will have jurisdiction over the matter, and then find a family law attorney who is familiar with that state's interpretation of the law.

Child protection and the Maryland Department of Social Services

If a child is suspected to be at risk of abuse and/or neglect, any Maryland resident can report their suspicions to the Department of Social Service. There is even a special child abuse hotline that can be used for this purpose. Often, the individuals who report such information are therapists, doctors, nurses, teachers or anyone else who wishes to remain anonymous.

What do Maryland courts consider during a child custody matter?

The most difficult part of any divorce if you are a parent is not the complexities involved with asset division. Rather, it's coming to agreement on child custody terms. Fortunately, in spite of the difficulty, most parents are able to arrive at mutually agreed upon terms for child custody outside of court, which will save them them the time, money, stress and emotional turmoil that is associated with family court proceedings.In order to increase the chances of parents coming to peaceful agreement over their child custody concerns, at the Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, PA, we find it helpful to educate our clients on the most important issues that Maryland family courts will consider during child custody proceedings. Think of the following questions as a checklist of questions and concerns that parents will want address:

Why you shouldn't move out without the kids during a divorce

Your mind is full of questions. You or your spouse have decided to divorce, and you're not sure what will happen next. What about the kids? Who will get custody? The divorce isn't final, but you know it's going to happen. So you think about the idea of one of you moving out, since it's been decided you will no longer be together. Plus, you don't want to argue in front of the children. Most of the time, it's the men who move out, because they feel it's "the right thing to do." But when it comes time for a court to hear and decide custody arrangements, moving out without the children could actually hurt you.

Millennials have lower divorce rates: How do they do it?

Divorces that involve asset division and child custody are particularly complicated and heart-wrenching to navigate. Better they avoid getting divorced in the first place, right? Of course, the answer to this question is clear, but it's a lot easier said than done. No couple wants to get a divorce, but being in an enduring marriage can be a miraculous feat in this day and age. All that said, millennials seem to be practicing something we should take note of because millennials have achieved record-low divorce levels.

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