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:
— Who was the child’s primary caregiver prior to divorce?
— What is the emotional, mental and financial fitness of each parent?
— What is the “character” of each parent? Do either of the parents have a criminal background, bad habits or other negative traits that would make him or her a worse parent than the other?
— How close does each parent live to the child’s school, friends and other activities?
— Do either of the parents have a history of walking out of the house during arguments, endangering the children, or abandoning the family?
— Which parent is most likely to support a stable home environment?
— Will our child just live with one of us, or will our child divide his or her time equally between both homes?
— If our child will only live with one of us, who will that be, and how much time will the other parent get to spend with the child?
— How much say will I have on issues relating to my child’s medical care, religion, schooling and other matters?
Maryland judges will consider a host of other factors, but these are some of the primary issues the typical family court will review. Therefore, parents should also consider them in their child custody settlement negotiations.
Parents who want to learn more about their legal rights surrounding child custody may wish to speak with an experienced Maryland family law attorney about their unique situations in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the law.