Tips For Fathers Seeking Full Custody Over Their Child In Maryland Montgomery Lawyer

  • The first and most important tip to winning any custody battle 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • By default, judges favor joint custody agreements (which happens to be the de facto by default) where both parents are given equal involvement within their lives. In cases where sole custody is pursued, it is recommended you show an intention of facilitating a relationship between the child and their other parent, whether through regular calls, regular visitation, or day-to-day involvement.
  • When trying to win sole custody in Maryland, it is necessary to prove in the eyes of the court that you are indeed the better parent. Even when seemingly winning a case, it is necessary to offer consistent evidence and clear descriptions corroborating any claims made. Generally, it is recommended you keep a journal or form a timeline delineating any involvement, whether financially or physically (visitations, outings, etc…), or any incidents where the second party exhibited strange behavior.
  • During court sessions in Maryland, while appearing in front of a judge, it is paramount to demonstrate responsibility — even through seemingly superficial gestures — such as correctly addressing the judge, being punctual, and wearing appropriate and well-care for attire. This all may serve as circumstantial evidence showing your competency as an adult and potential parent.
  • One of the major factors that will determine the outcome of a custody case is the child’s personal preference. As a result, the court strictly forbids any coaching by the parents done to manipulate the minor’s opinion or distort the Court’s perception over what’s the ‘Child’s Best Interest.’ This takes into account any indirect or unintentional influences. 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 in Maryland, 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.
  • The child’s personal preference, especially if they are of suitable age, is an integral part to making custody decisions, and the court will seek the child’s opinion through a custodial evaluation. It is necessary to minimize the minor’s involvement in the case, because if the court feels that an individual is unintentionally or coercively trying to coach the minor, their integrity may be greatly damaged. C

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