The first and most important tip to winning any custody battle in Maryland is through hiring an attorney with copious experience in similar cases, both in category and nature. Even when well-informed, mere knowledge regarding your legal rights and responsibilities is in no way sufficient to winning full custody. An attorney will help you with court representation and consultation regarding what claims should you evoke and the appropriate documentation needed to consolidate it. Once you get the correct legal representation, here’s a list of all the factors you should take into account to secure the most favorable outcome:
- Most states (including Maryland) no longer designate presumptive custody; instead, both parents are giving equal consideration and thought, and the ‘Child’s Best Interest’ is sought. In this case, winning full custody means you need to prove you are the ‘Better Parent’, and this will require clear, conclusive evidence that you are more qualified to providing for your child and caring for his or her physical and psychological welfare. This can be done through showing concern regarding their daily routine and commitment to securing a healthy lifestyle.
- Courts in Maryland tend to incline towards the ‘primary caregiver’ which by definition is the individual who was most invested in the child’s care (ex. shopping, feeding, dressing up, providing first-aid, etc..) prior to the divorce/custody battle. If you happen to be the primary caregiver, it is recommended you stress this point, and stress your greater involvement within your child’s life.
- When contesting for full custody in Maryland, you must demonstrate that you are indeed the ‘Better Parent’. This, however, can only be achieved through well-documented precedent, evidence supported claims, and proper presentation. All claims and accusations made against the second party must be consolidated by either witness testimony, documentation, or detailed accounts. The court discourages accusations, and instead supports the personal presentation. This can be achieved through demonstrating superior financial and personal status, good character, alongside appropriate court decorum (ex. punctuality, correct addressing, proper attire, etc…) . Additionally, showing a willingness to facilitate the future relationship between the child and the opposing party can be a great sign of maturity and responsibility.
- Coaching a child into what to say or how to behave in court and out of court in Maryland during the period of the trial in hopes of manipulating the outcome is strictly prohibited. This may also include any indirect influence such as informing your child regarding how the case is moving. This will not only undermine the parent’s integrity, but will confuse and intimidate the child. As a result, it’s recommended that parents maintain minimal involvement on the behalf of the child to help avoid any discrepancies in court or emotional distress for the child.
- – More than often, especially if both parents are equally competent in taking care of the child, a joint custody will be established. Keep in mind this decision is by no means permanent, and is bound to change if either one of the parents experiences a significant change in circumstances, or if the child reaches the age of 16 (in such a case, they can decide with whom they wish to stay). As a result, as a parent, it is necessary to document consistent involvement in your child’s life, whether through visitations or primary care.
If you need a Maryland child custody lawyer to help you with your child custody case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland child custody attorneys can help you.