When you have a child with someone in Maryland and the two of you do not agree on custody terms, you may need to have the state of Maryland step in and develop a custody agreement for you. When doing so, the state considers many different factors, and you may wonder if your child’s personal preferences are among them.
Per the Maryland Courts, whether a child’s wishes impact a judge’s decision in a Maryland custody case depends on several factors.
What determines if a child has a say
While your child’s age matters to some degree when it comes to voicing his or her custody preferences, what matters more is how mature your son or daughter is. To assess your child’s maturity level, the judge might consider his or her ability to form personal opinions and separate fantasy from reality. If your child is older, his or her preferences may carry more weight than, say, those of a 6- or 7-year-old child.
What other factors impact custody decisions
Many other factors also come into play in a Maryland custody case. The fitness of each parent and the material advantages each offers are among them. Other aspects that may fall under the microscope in a custody case include each parent’s character and reputation, where each parent lives and each parent’s own desires, among others. ‘
At the end of the day, it is the goal of the court system to come up with a custody arrangement that takes into account your child’s best interests. When possible and appropriate, Maryland courts often prefer that both parents share custody.