Different states have different rules and guidelines regarding child custody. The laws of Maryland can be crucial and may be hard to comprehend the state’s rules and guidelines to prepare for a custody hearing. Custody is usually granted to natural parents or foster parents, in cases where these parents are unfit to gain custody of their child, a close relative like an uncle or a grandmother may be granted custody instead.
There are numerous different types of child custody involved in Maryland, these include the following:
1. Legal custody
Parents who have legal custody of their child have the right and responsibility to take parental decisions regarding their child’s well being and upbringing. Decisions that a parent with legal custody is able to make includes the child’s education, religion and medical care. Typically, courts grant the parents joint custody of their child so that both parents can be involved in the decisions regarding their child.
2. Physical custody
Parents who have physical custody over their child, means that his or her child is legally permitted to reside with him or her. Sometimes joint physical custody is granted to both parents. Having joint physical custody reduces the stress on the child, prevents emotional distress and allows the child to have a rather regular routine.
3. Temporary custody in Maryland
Usually, temporary custody occurs during the time of a divorce process. The court of Maryland will decide based on the child’s best interest and award temporary custody to either parent or grant the parents shared temporary custody. The parent will have custody of his or her child until the court makes a final decision on the custody of the child. Other situation when the court grants temporary custody to a close relative of the child, for instance the child’s grandparents, if the parents are unable to provide for the child’s welfare and security. Examples of this are if the parent is a drug addict, alcohol addict, or has abused the child. the parent can regain custody if he or she goes through therapy and becomes better capable to provide for his or her child.
4. Sole custody
A parent can have sole physical custody or sole physical legal custody of a child. Courts grant sole custody to one parent if the other parent is incapable of having custody of the child, for example for substance abuse or charges of child abuse.
5. Split custody
The parents split up the custody of their children. For instance, if the divorced or separated parents have four children, each parent has custody of two children.
6. Joint custody
Parents who have joint custody of their child share the responsibility of decision making for their child as well as the physical custody of their child, meaning that the child will have an equal amount of time with each parent. Parents of the child parents can have joint custody of their child if they are divorced, legally separated, no longer residing together, or if they have never lived together in the first place.