There are two types of custody in Maryland:
- Legal Custody
- Physical Custody.
Legal Custody is when the parent has the right to make important life decisions regarding their child such as religious concerns, education, medical treatment and etc.
Physical Custody in Maryland is when the parent has to take care of the child’s day to day needs such as food, sleep, activities and etc.
Joint custody in accordance to the laws of Maryland is when both the mother and father share minor guardianship and their responsibilities as guardians.
This can be decided upon by an agreement between the guardians and with no interference from the court at all. However if the guardians do not settle on joint guardianship, then they must take the case to higher authorities ( court) for them to judge which of the guardians should get sole guardianship.
The court’s decision on which guardian they must choose relies completely on the minor’s best interest, and though some may think that the court is biased and usually leans towards the mother, this is not true whatsoever.
How must a parent get sole custody of a child in Maryland.
First, the parents should sit together and try to reach an agreement about who should get sole guardianship. If that does not work out and the parents are unable to sort it out themselves then the case is taken to court. The court / judge will then decide on which guardian should get sole guardianship of the minor. The judge will always look at the child’s best interest before taking the decision of granting the sole custody. The court will also take into account important factors that will help them decide which guardian is more suitable and those are the following :
- The parent must be the “caregiver” of the minor. Try to always be there in the simplest of ways such as shopping for your minor, feeding them, getting them up for school and etc.
- Character and reputation : for a parent seeking sole guardianship of their minor, they must maintain a very well reputation between neighbors, friends and relatives. This is because when the court makes the decision about which parent should get guardianship, they look into the minor’s best interest and thus by seeking evidence for the parent’s character and reputation to those who know them
- You must be able to maintain the minor’s family relationships. Letting the minor visit your ex-mother in law or allowing them to see their aunts and uncles from your ex-spouse’s side is very important.
- You must be able to financially secure everything that the minor needs. As mentioned earlier the court will choose the child’s best interest and that also includes which parent provides more resources to their child financially.
- You must keep in mind that the court will also take into account basic stuff such as ” how close do the parents live to each other? , how close does the parent filing for sole custody live to the child’s school and social circle and even their extended relatives?