Filing for custody can mean a highly complex litigation process that can drain you emotionally and physically. However, our family law attorney in Maryland is more than up for the task.
Read on to make sure you know what to expect with a custody battle in Maryland.
What Custody Law in Maryland Says
In general, Maryland law presumes that both biological parents have equal rights to be natural custodians of their kids. This means that the legislation does not favor the mother over the father or vice versa. What this means is that a gender-based argument will not work for you in the state.
Grandparents can petition for custody, as can other types of parties. However, the law favors the biological parents and, in a case where a birth parent is willing and able to take custody, the chances aren’t too great.
Why Jurisdiction Matters
If you’re petitioning for full custody of your kids in Maryland, one aspect you must remember is that of jurisdiction. Whether or not the circuit courts in Maryland have the authority to take and hear your case is a matter of jurisdiction.
You may file a custody case in Maryland if one or more of the following conditions are met:
- Maryland is the child’s home state, i.e., they live and study in the state, and the parent who is filing also has contact with Maryland. i.e., they live, work, pay taxes, and vote in the state.
- The child is not in Maryland, but it was the kid’s home states up to 6 months ago, and the parent who is filing lives in the state.
- The child and one parent have contact or have had contact in Maryland. This means they’ve lived, worked, and studied here with records to show this.
- The kid in question is present in Maryland and was in an emergency situation requiring protection such as abuse or neglect.
Factors the Judge Considers
The judge may consider a range of factors to come to a conclusion in a custody battle. This includes an evaluation of the primary caregiver. The judge will try to discover who is most responsive to calls from school or who is around more for the child. The physical and psychological fitness of a legal guardian is also investigated.
Furthermore, the demonstrated ability to maintain a good relationship, financial ability, and the character of a parent may be something the judge considers as well. A history of abandonment, neglect, or abuse is significant here.
The age, health, and gender of the child may have a role as well as what the child has to say. For example, if a child testifies to an uncomfortable or debilitating environment at one parent’s home, this can have an effect on the case.
Understanding the Burden of Evidence
What you need to know is that if there’s a disagreement during divorce mediation or you’re filing for full custody after an agreement was already settled upon, you will have to provide the proof. This means you need an experienced and professional child custody lawyer by your side.
Our family lawyer in Silver Spring and Baltimore is here to help you through this. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call us. We also have tax lawyers, immigration lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, and personal injury lawyers to help you with just about all kinds of legal work.