The most common types of Maryland child custody issues involve physical access, parenting schedules, and decision-making rights. Disagreements between parents are typically about their time sharing schedule for their children. One parent usually believes that they should have sole or primary physical custody of their children, which can become contentious if the kids’ other parent disagrees and wishes to contest that.
Determining legal custody could also create tension in a case because who gets to make major decisions about their children is often important to both parents. However, once physical access is agreed upon, legal custody usually follows. In other words, it is usually easier for the parties to agree on legal custody after they have already surmounted their physical access issues. In any case, it is best to enlist the services of a qualified legal advocate who is familiar with child custody cases for help with resolving these issues in family court.
How many overnights one or both of the parties shall have with their children is commonly disputed in local child custody cases. Parents also often find it difficult to agree on pick up and drop off times and locations. Another common example of Maryland child custody issues is holiday and summer access.
Additionally, a lot of parents want to see their children while they are with their other parent, especially if the kids are young. Negotiating times for telephone, Skype, or FaceTime calls is common in child custody cases.
Causes of Custody Issues
Parents who are not living together but wish to share their children should take care to avoid Maryland child custody issues as much as possible. The courts tend to prioritize consistency when determining the most appropriate arrangement, but they also value the child spending as much time as possible with both parents. Many times, the primary parent’s complaint to the judge in a contested custody case is that it will be too difficult for a child to adjust to a schedule that involves transferring between two homes on a regular basis. However, without evidence of that fact, the judge may not give it as much weight as the parent desires. Parents often disagree about which of them should have primary physical access.
Those who initiate custody litigation likely want a judge to rule in their favor, so it is important for them to have experienced and knowledgeable legal representation during this process. A seasoned professional could help them put their feelings aside and to come to an agreement that upholds their kids’ best interests.
Changing a Custody Order
A custody agreement which was incorporated into a court order must be followed by all involved parties, unless either of them experience a material change in circumstances and file a motion for modification of custody/access with the court. Even then, the court order must be followed unless and until the court orders otherwise. If an already agreed upon custody arrangement is not as beneficial as originally predicted, the only way to change it is for one party or both to file a motion for modification of custody with the courts. They must allege that their material change in circumstances negatively impacts their children’s best interests.
How an Attorney Can Help Resolve Maryland Child Custody Issues
An attorney could summon a mediator to help parents resolve their custody disputes. Drafting a legally binding parenting schedule which outlines all matters regarding their children can be challenging without qualified guidance. If the parties fail to agree on a new parenting schedule, than the attorney can help the parent request appropriate relief from the court.
It is highly recommended to seek out the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney before taking any legal action or responding to court papers. Doing so would help you understand the process and your resources before entering litigation. Call us today to learn more about your options for avoiding Maryland child custody issues.