Determining child custody is often the most difficult part of a divorce proceeding or separation. Your best source of information is a child custody lawyer . A child custody lawyer serving Owings Mills can offer legal guidance regarding mediation, court proceedings, and the types of child custody arrangements available. When you go to your legal consultation, be sure to bring a list of any questions you may have about child custody laws.
What is Temporary Custody?
Divorce lawyers are often asked what will happen to the kids once a petition for divorce is filed, but before custody has been determined. Maryland law allows for temporary custody of children while litigation is pending (as well as some other temporary issues, like support, attorney’s fees, and use and possession of the marital home. When your child custody lawyer files the petition for divorce or custody, he or she will also file a request for a hearing for temporary custody. The judge will award temporary custody to one of the parents, based on the best interests of the child. Having temporary custody does not mean that you have a better or worse chance of being granted actual custody.
Do the Courts Always Favor the Mother?
It’s a common misconception that the mother is automatically given preferential treatment in family court. Maryland law does not give preference to either parent, but rather it views both parents as the natural custodians of the child. The best interests of the child are the determining factors in awarding child custody. However, one of the factors the judge may consider is which parent primarily carries out caregiving duties for the child.
Can the Child Express a Preference?
Under Maryland law, the judge can interview the child away from both parents’ presence to question him or her about preference. This depends on the age and maturity level of the child, and whether the child is capable of differentiating truth from fiction.
What Happens if the Custody Order is Violated?
It’s fairly common for one parent to fail to return the child to his or her primary residence past the scheduled time. This is one way in which the custody order may be violated. When this occurs, the lawful custodian must first demand that the other parent return the child. If the child is not returned, the lawful guardian can work with a child custody lawyer to involve the authorities and have the order enforced.