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Bel Air Child Custody Lawyer

The spouses are not the only people who must deal with divorce. Indeed, 1.5 million children go through divorce each year. Children are often the single most important aspect of divorce, as they should be. When a child custody decision goes your way, it brings an overwhelming sense of relief after what typically involves months of emotionally charged arguments. The Bel Air child custody lawyers of Schlaich & Thompson Chartered are here to help.

Best Interest of the Child

Most child custody agreements are made between the parents, without the iron-clad decision of a judge. We urge our clients to work with the other party, not against them, because when it comes down to deciding what is in the child’s best interests, a judge who does not even know the child may not be the best person to decide. Typically, the court will favor shared custody, although that is not always the case, and child custody decisions are based on the following:

  • Which parent was the primary caregiver;
  • Ability of each parent to place their child’s best interests above their own;
  • Child’s preference if they have one and are old enough;
  • Living situation with each parent;
  • Caregiving abilities of each parent;
  • Physical and mental health of each parent; and
  • History of violence or criminal history of each parent.

Types of Custody in Maryland

There are many different types of child custody in Maryland, according to The People’s Law Library of Maryland, which are defined as follows:

  • Temporary Custody – Sometimes, temporary custody will be granted to one of the parents during divorce. However, this is not necessarily the first step towards that parent receiving full and final custody;
  • Legal Custody – Legal custody gives this parent or parents the ability to make decisions about their child, including where they live, their education, healthcare, and more;
  • Physical Custody – This is who the child lives with. For shared custody, typically both parents have physical custody, meaning they live with each parent at least 35 percent of the time;
  • Sole Custody – This parent has all of the legal decision making abilities;
  • Split Custody – When there are two or more children, one child may go with one parent, while the other(s) go with the other parent. This is only done when the children either do not get along or they are old enough to have preferences.

Third-party visitation and custody

Third parties, like grandparents, stepparents and the domestic partners of the biological parent, often want to continue the relationship they have developed with a child through regular contact through visitation or custody. The court considers the biological parent’s visitation plan to be what is in the child’s best interest. However, if a third party wants to change this, they must demonstrate either parental unfitness or exceptional circumstances. The court then considers what is in the child’s best interests. Our Bel Air divorce lawyers guide you through this process.

Child custody agreement modifications

Custody can be modified if there is a significant change of circumstances affecting the child, such as a parent in the military who goes into active duty, a change in a parent’s work schedule or the parent’s relocation. But the court will not change a child’s routine without good reason.

Contact a Bel Air Child Custody Lawyer at Once

When a child custody hearing does not go your way, it can be heartbreaking. Because of the serious nature of child custody decisions, you need an attorney that you can trust, who will never stop advocating on your behalf, and who will reveal to the court who you truly are and the enormous positives that you bring to your child’s life. After all, the court does not care about your best interests. Judges make decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests alone. We urge you to contact the child custody attorneys of Schlaich & Thompson Chartered today for compassionate and professional legal assistance.

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