Howard County Child Custody Lawyer
When couples with children decide to divorce, the issue of child custody is often the most important.
It’s important to approach this matter carefully, keeping in mind the best interests of the child. Attorney Fred Coover is your skilled and experienced Howard County child custody lawyer. He is dedicated to resolving custody matters in an atmosphere of mutual respect and sensitivity to the child’s needs.
Let us help you resolve your divorce or child custody matter with personal attention to long-term needs and lasting family relationships. Contact Coover Law Firm at (410) 553-5042 today.
Maryland Child Custody Laws
Child custody can be granted in many different ways under Maryland law, including sole custody, joint custody, shared custody, and split custody. Often, one parent is either granted sole custody or is considered the primary residential parent, and the other parent has visitation according to an agreed-upon or court-ordered schedule.
When both parents take turns having custody of the child, this is known as shared physical custody. In a shared custody arrangement, each parent will typically have the child for at least 35% of the time.
Another aspect of custody is what is known as legal custody. In other words, who has the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the child’s education, religion, health care, and other aspects of the child’s upbringing. The court may grant either sole or joint legal custody. Even if one parent has sole or primary physical custody, the court may still order that important decisions be made jointly.
In the case of either joint legal custody or shared physical custody, it is important that the parents can get along well enough with each other to make a joint arrangement work. For the most part, parents are expected to stick to a plan and work out disagreements between themselves without rushing back to court every time a problem arises.
Ongoing litigation can be harmful to the child and may not always be the best solution. However, in appropriate circumstances, we assist parties in post-divorce motions and litigation to make sure their needs are met.
To learn more about our approach, contact a Howard County family lawyer at Coover Law Firm.
Coover Law Puts Your Child First
Maryland law does not provide a set list of factors for the Judge to look at in deciding how to award custody. Instead, the Judge is instructed to look at the “totality of circumstances” in determining the custody and visitation arrangement.
However, the following questions can provide clarity on what the Judge is looking for in awarding custody:
Who is the child’s primary caregiver?
Who feeds and bathes the child, gets them ready for school, or arranges daycare? Whom does the child turn to when they are hurt or upset?
Who is the fittest parent?
Is the custody-seeking parent psychologically and physically capable of supporting the child? Is there any evidence of abuse against the other parent or any child residing in the custody-seeking party’s household?
Which parent is best able to maintain relationships between the child and the extended family?
Who has the desire and integrity to help the child maintain familial connections? Who will allow and encourage the child to remain in contact with the other party? Is the parent likely to penalize or punish the child for attempting contact with the other party?
What does the child want regarding custody?
Is the child old and mature enough to make a rational choice regarding their preference on which parent they would prefer to live with? Is the child likely to have an unrealistic preference?
Which parent has more resources?
Which parent has the financial resources to support their child and give them the greater opportunity?
What is the age and gender of the child?
Does your son have a stronger relationship with his father? Does your daughter have a stronger relationship with her mother? Is your child old enough to have a rational preference? Which parent lives closest to the child’s school, friends, and other family members?
Has one parent become estranged from the child following a lengthy separation?
Is there a history of one parent walking out, leaving the other parent to take care of the child? If applicable, which parent left the last time you broke up?
These are all important factors that the Judge will consider when determining custody. If you have any questions or concerns about these factors or your fitness as primary caretaker, don’t hesitate to contact Coover Law Firm.
Call (410) 995-1100 today.
Get Help Today from an Experienced Howard County Child Custody Lawyer
Given the latitude that the Judge has in deciding custody matters, you must prepare a persuasive case and be ready to challenge or defend against arguments made by the other spouse in a custody dispute. Coover Law Firm in Maryland stands ready to help you through this difficult time with practical, solution-oriented advice and tough, effective litigation when needed.
For assistance with a divorce or child custody in Columbia, Maryland or Howard County, contact Coover Law Firm.