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.

When a child custody dispute must go before a Maryland court, judges will look at a variety of factors to come to a decision. In most cases, judges consider the following questions when making their child custody determinations:

— Does one parent have more economic resources than the other?

— Who was the primary caregiver for the children while the parents were married? For example, was one spouse a homemaker and did that spouse carry out the majority of childcare duties?

— Was one or the other spouses at fault for the divorce? For example, did one of the spouses commit adultery, which led to the dissolution of the marriage?

— What was the relationship between the parent and the children like? For example, was one parent more likely to spend time with the children and be closer to them than another parent?

— If the child is of the age where he or she is intelligent enough to make the decision, does the child prefer to live with one of the other parents?

In order to gain a clearer picture of what could happen when a child custody dispute goes to court, Maryland parents may want to talk to a family law attorney with extensive experience litigating child custody disputes. An experienced lawyer will be able to advise parents of what to expect during their pending child custody proceedings.