Bel Air Joint Custody Agreement Lawyer
Joint custody refers to the rights and responsibilities that two divorced or separated parents share regarding their child or children. We strongly urge parents who are going through divorce or separation, or parents who are already separated but wish to modify an existing order or custody arrangement, to speak with an attorney as soon as possible about their goals regarding custody. Joint custody is typically the best arrangement for the child, because they will get to spend a lot of quality time with each parent as they grow up. Let us help you in this endeavor and figure out a custody agreement in your child’s best interests.
What Are My Options for Joint Custody?
There are only two types of joint custody, which are described below:
- Legal Custody – When both parents have legal custody, they both have the right to make legal decision about their child. Legal decision making involves having a say about where the child lives, their education, religion, where they go on vacation, who they spend the holidays with, and their day-to-day schedule. Parents who wish to share legal custody must be able to get along well enough with each other to regularly communicate, work out scheduling conflicts, change their plans last minute if need be, and compromise.
- Physical Custody – One or two parents may have physical custody during joint custody agreements. For instance, both parents could have legal custody, while physical custody is only given to one. According to The People’s Law Library of Maryland, joint physical custody requires that the child spend at least 35 percent of their overnights with each parent.
Child custody agreements can be temporary or permanent. For example, the court may have the child live with the mother, giving her sole physical or legal custody, during the divorce as a temporary order. This order could change, and it may be intended to change, after the divorce is finalized. Moreover, any permanent agreement is open for debate, as all orders can be modified. Modifications will be granted by the court on the basis that changes were made to the child’s circumstances and that a new custody agreement is in the child’s best interests. For example, the father, who originally had sole custody, may have been caught drinking and driving. Such behavior was a change from the information known about the father during the original decision, and is obviously not a benefit to the child’s best interests. The court may change its original decision and give joint custody rights to the mother.
Contact a Bel Air or Columbia Joint Custody Lawyer
According to Time, children of joint custody agreements fare better than children who only live with one parent. Joint custody agreements are also less stressful on parents. However, we understand that during custody hearings and divorce, emotions are bound to rise.
In order for the most optimal custody decision to be made by the court or between you and the other parent, it is best to keep emotions at bay and to work collaboratively. The lawyers of Schlaich & Thompson Chartered will help you accomplish your joint custody goals.