Maryland Criticized for Child Custody Policies
In 2013, lawmakers in Maryland put together a special commission in order to study how the state’s courts come to decisions regarding child custody. Over an 18-month period of time, the commission listened to judges, mental health professionals and family law attorneys. The commission’s final report was issued in 2014. Despite this, state reforms have not been made.
In today’s courtroom, child custody is determined by a judge who considers the best interest of the child. Some people believe that there should be an automatic presumption of shared or joint custody. Maryland has so far rejected this idea. Some believe that a one-size-fits-all approach is not beneficial to the children of divorcing parents.
It’s not to say that the state’s laws don’t need to change. Currently, there is no custody statute in the state that provides guidance to judges. In the report, the commission suggested changing terms like “custody” and “visitation” to less emotional terms like “parenting time” and “decision-making responsibility.” These proposed changes are good ones that have not been made.
Children need to be protected and their best interests do need to be taken into account when making custody decisions, but many feel that Maryland’s approach to child custody is outdated at best.
If you need assistance with a child custody issue in Columbia, MD, reach out to our office. We will help you arrange a consultation and advise you of your legal rights and all of your options. Call today or contact us online at your convenience.