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The best interests of the child standard in Maryland

Written by
June 17th, 2016

A judge making a decision in a divorce case about child custody in Maryland will consider the best interests of the child or children. Neither parents will begin with any greater right to the custody than the other. The judge will review all factors brought to him that are relevant to parenting. By getting the help of a divorce lawyer from Annapolis, you increase the chances of winning custody and living a happy life together with your child or children.

The divorce law in Annapolis doesn't provide specific factors that a judge must consider. This allows the judge to take into consideration all the circumstances in each of the child's parent's home and how these affect the child.


For the best interest of the child in MD, the judge considers any agreements between the parents. They will consider the reputation, character, ability to provide (including material opportunities) of each parent. Other important factors are the child's age, sex, health, where the parents live, whether one of the parents has ever voluntary abandoned a child, the opportunities for visitation and others. All these are taken into account to establish the child custody in Maryland.

The court will generally favor agreements that maintain continuity, provide stability and don't change the environment of the child (if possible). Furthermore, if the child is old enough and can make an informed choice, the judge will also permit the child to state their preference. Any evidence of domestic abuse will be taken into consideration and can even result in the denial of the custody and visitation rights of the person responsible (or allow supervised visitation if these will ensure the child's emotional, physical and psychological safety).

Child custody and visitation options

Your divorce lawyer from Annapolis will explain to you that legal custody refers to the authority of a parent to participate significantly or make long-term decisions regarding their child's education, health, general welfare and religious upbringing. Physical custody states the time that a child is living with or is cared for by the supervision parent. If the court awards joint legal custody, this will not mean that they also award joint physical custody, and it does not require the equal division of time between the two parents. Depending on the case and circumstances, many parenting schedules are appropriate. The court can also grant visitation privileges to one or both of the child's grandparents if it is considered in the best interest of the child.

If the judge considers awarding joint custody, they will weigh in all the factors stated above and will look closely at the relationship between each parent and the child, how they communicate with each other and how their decisions will affect the welfare of the child. Furthermore, the court will consider factors such as if the parents live close to each other, and potential school and social disruptions if the child moves between homes. The age and number of the other children are also taken into consideration, along with the working schedule of each parent, the impact of the joint custody and each parent's financial status.

If you are in need of the best divorce attorney from Maryland you should contact us at: (443) 569-3950 or you can send us an email at: chris@annapolisaccidentattorney.comA and you will receive a free consultation. Benefit from our vast experience in divorce and child custody hearings and let us help you.

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