In an ideal divorce or legal separation case, both spouses would be able to mutually agree upon a child custody arrangement that serves the best interests of the child. However, child custody is usually more complicated than this. If you’re thinking about filing for divorce and you share minor children with your spouse, you should consult a child custody lawyer serving Owings Mills as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you understand the child custody laws that may apply to your case.
Amicable Resolution of Disputes
When you and your spouse cannot agree on child custody, the judge may order both of you to attend mediation sessions. During these sessions, an impartial mediator will facilitate a discussion in which both spouses try to negotiate an acceptable custody arrangement . Although doing so can be difficult, it’s best to try to set aside feelings of animosity toward your spouse and to work together for the sake of your child. When successful, mediation can help spouses establish a long-term working relationship. When mediation fails to resolve child custody disputes, the matter is turned over to the judge.
Parental Communication Issues
Your divorce lawyer may have already informed you that Maryland child custody laws allow judges significant discretion in determining child custody. Judges must evaluate the totality of circumstances to determine which arrangement is in the child’s best interests. One of those factors may involve the ability of both parents to communicate with each other. This is particularly important for establishing whether parents will share joint legal custody. Each spouse must demonstrate that he or she is capable of mature conduct when communicating with the other party in order to reach decisions for the child’s upbringing. It is not necessary for ex-spouses to agree on every detail of childrearing; however, they should be able to work together to make major decisions, such as those involving healthcare and education.
Primary Caregiver Role
Another factor involved with resolving child custody disputes is the primary caregiver of the child. The judge may consider which parent fulfilled this role when making decisions regarding physical custody and visitation. This factor is particularly influential when the child is young. If you are seeking primary physical custody, your divorce lawyer may advise you to begin documenting your responsibilities as the child’s primary caregiver.