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Navigating child custody after a felony charge

Everyone makes mistakes — it is simply part of human life. Yet the ways those mistakes are legally measured can result in potentially devastating outcomes. Countless Maryland residents live with felonies on their records, and while these offenses carry varying penalties, some live with the baggage for many years. This baggage can often be hard to explain for parents with children, especially amidst a divorce. All family issues and criminal charges aside, what typically matters most is the security of family. 

Lifestyle magazine Livestrong shares this concern regarding convicted felons and their children. And it appears they are not alone — an article published last June noted the statistic that 6 percent of U.S. adults are convicted felons. Again, although a parent’s rights to their child depends on the type of crime they have committed, Livestrong lists some offenses that likely have negative outcomes:

  • Child abuse
  • Sexually related felonies involving children
  • Child endangerment

According to the article, a parent convicted of these crimes may have a less likely chance of regaining their child custody rights. In addition, they may face issues down the road when it comes to visitation rights. Murder is another crime courts handle seriously in this regard; such cases deem a parent unfit. Yet there are often multiple sides to a story, and each case is unique. The main goal of most is to best accommodate a child’s needs.

In Maryland specifically, standard child custody laws vary depending on each case, as well. Findlaw provides a basic rundown of child custody procedures and court consideration. Contrary to what most parents might assume, Maryland does not prioritize a child’s wishes in such cases. However, courts generally attempt to create the best possible situation for all children involved. Of course, a felony will largely predict how that situation will pan out, but once a parent has a felony record sealed, they may continue with the normal custody process and carry on with the more joyous aspects of life.

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