Child custody issues are among the most difficult and emotional ones faced during and after divorce. Our firm helps clients work out a parenting plan that has the children's best interests in mind.
We often work to resolve any issues as constructively and peacefully as possible through alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and collaborative law. However, if needed, we are prepared to litigate the case and go to trial to get the resolution our clients seek.
It's vital for Maryland parents to understand the child custody options available under state law. We know that the terms can be confusing, particularly when parents are already dealing with the upheaval that divorce brings to any family.
"Residential custody" is a key term in Maryland family law. Child support arrangements are worked out in part based on what type of residential custody arrangement is reached.
In some cases, couples arrive at an agreement to have shared residential custody. That's when each parent has the children in his or her home for a minimum of 35 percent of the year.
In many cases, however, one parent will have primary residential custody of the children, while the other has regular access to them. That's what used to be called "visitation rights." The parents negotiate the specific amount of time that the children will spend with each parent. If necessary, a judge will make the decision.
"Legal custody," on the other hand, refers to decision-making authority regarding things like children's education, health matters and religious upbringing. Both parents may have legal custody, only one may have it or it may be split, with each parent having decision-making authority over specific aspects of a child's life.
With almost two decades in family law, our firm has the experience to help couples work out the parenting plan that's best for their children. We help ensure that important details are worked out so that things will go more smoothly for everyone, particularly for the children. We also help couples make changes to their custody arrangements as needed as the children get older and life situations change.
We know that child custody issues are as unique as the individual families involved. We handle these and other family law issues for opposite-sex and same-sex Maryland couples. Call or contact our office online to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you.