The concept of custody is generally composed of two sections – legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody generally refers to major decision-making authority and responsibility for day-to-day activities. Physical custody generally relates to the time the child spends with each party and is often interchangeable with the concept of parenting time.
Under Maryland law, child custody can be granted to either the father or mother. There is no bias towards any one of the parents and the court only looks at the child’s best interest. To prevent extra “drama”, expenses and “people’s talk” it is always advised that the parents should sit together and reach an agreement between them on minor guardianship. The court then reviews the agreement they have decided upon and if found suitable, they sign it. However, if this fails to happen then the case is taken to higher authorities ( the court ).
As mentioned earlier, both parents have an equal chance of gaining minor guardianship. Mothers have most traditionally been viewed as the primary caregivers and the most competent of the parents to get minor guardianship. However, we can’t ignore the importance of a father in a child’s life. In addition to them capable of being caregivers, fathers also play an important role in the child’s discipline. Furthermore, it has been proved that children with involved loving and caring fathers tend to do better academically and socially compared to those who don’t have a tight relationship with their fathers.
Fathers’ Rights and Paternity
It is noted that establishing paternity builds self-esteem in children, establishes family identity, encourages shared parenting and helps determine health history. Declaring paternity also provides a legal relationship between the father and a child in court. This helps the court determine custody awards and visitation rights. Declaring paternity also provides legal protection and opportunities for children, including coverage by any medical insurance held by the male caretaker or potential benefits from the father’s Social Security or veteran’s benefits. Maryland recognizes putative fatherhood, a term used to describe unmarried, biological fathers and fathers in a child-parent relationship without any legal adoptive recognition. Maryland sponsors an online state putative male caretaker registry to provide fathers with notifications of court actions involving a child listed on the registry. The notifications allow male caretakers to attend custody and adoption hearings involving biological children.
Mediation is not required by the court. If the terms the mediator determines for the father/mother aren’t satisfactory and the ex-couple does not agree with it then you can ignore it.
Until the minor reaches legal adult age, both the mother and the male caretaker have to participate in juvenile maintenance. The court has a method of calculating how much a parent should contribute to juvenile maintenance. This includes factors outside how much a male caretaker earns.
A child’s preference to live with the male caretaker is only one factor that the Court must consider when determining custody and visitation. The child’s age, maturity, and reasons for his or her preference will determine which of the parents should get minor guardianship.
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. B