As a parent, your children are your most important priority. A Maryland child custody lawyer understands how important it is to you to be there to raise your children, give them guidance, and experience the milestones of their lives. Your attorney will work hard to argue on your behalf for a custody agreement giving you the access to your children that you believe is best for your family.
What Does a Child Custody Lawyer Do in Maryland?
A child custody lawyer helps you in many important ways if you need to use the legal system to ensure access to your children and to protect your kids from harm. A custody attorney can:
- Explain how Maryland custody cases are decided.
- Help you to initiate paternity proceedings to prove you are a child’s father and entitled to visitation or shared custody.
- Provide assistance with the negotiation of an out-of-court parenting plan or timesharing agreement.
- Represent you in a custody proceeding in court.
- Petition for a change in custody if warranted under Maryland and your existing custody arrangement is not working for your children or family.
- Provide representation to grandparents who want court-ordered visitation of their grandchildren.
It is preferred that parents do not involve a judge in deciding on their parenting plan, but instead that they come together and create a timesharing arrangement that makes sense for their kids and their lifestyle. However, when compromise is not possible, litigation may be needed to protect the best interests of the child(ren). A Maryland child custody lawyer provides assistance during negotiation or in the courtroom.
Maryland Laws on Child Custody
The court will consider many issues in a child custody case in order to determine what is in the best interests of the child(ren). Oftentimes, parents get some type of joint or shared custody so a child(ren) can continue to build on a relationship with both mother and father. However, there are numerous exceptions. Each custody case is different, depending on the facts. No two custody cases are the same.
Maryland Family Law Code Section 9-101 establishes that the court should consider whether allowing visitation would lead to abuse or neglect, if there is credible evidence to suggest either has already occurred. If there is reason to believe there was past abuse, the court should award either limited supervised visitation or no visitation at all unless the court finds there is no likelihood visitation would lead to the child suffering further harm.
Courts will consider the risk of abuse; how stable a home environment each parent can provide; and who has been the child’s primary caregiver, as well as many other factors. These are just a few of the different components of a custody case and each parent needs to be prepared to make the most compelling argument possible about why their custody arrangement will better provide for all of a child’s needs.
Contact a Maryland Child Custody Lawyer Today
If you are a parent or a grandparent and you want to protect your relationship with your child, you should not hesitate to get legal help in a separation, custody or divorce situation. Divorce is common in today’s world, and kids can sometimes be caught in the middle. Let a Maryland child custody lawyer help keep your case moving forward without undue stress on your family, so you can work towards the outcome that is best for you and your family.