When parents split up, whether they were married or not, their children are bound to be overwhelmed and confused. In any divorce involving children, their welfare must take priority. Custody decisions are some of the most contentious parts of divorce, requiring skilled counsel from an attorney who is experienced enough to guide you through the process. At the Law Offices of Josephia Rouse, LLC in Baltimore, I give clients the personalized attention they need to guide them in custody determinations that protect their parental rights and benefit their children.
All court-ordered custody has both a legal and a physical component:
While Maryland courts favor parents sharing legal custody, this arrangement is not always possible or beneficial. And both legal and physical custody can be held by one parent (sole) or shared (joint). When a child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent has a right to visitation, unless that contact would present a danger to the child. When the parents are granted shared physical custody, the child lives with each of them at least 35 percent of the time.
After an initial consultation, it will be easier to determine what legal route to take in seeking the custody result that benefits you and your child.
When a court orders sole physical custody of a child to one parent, the other parent will typically have visitation rights. The parents will have the ability to work out visitation agreements among themselves, but if an agreement cannot be reached, the court will issue a visitation order. Visitation is usually only granted to biological parents, but depending on the circumstances of the case, it could also be granted to a grandparent or other third party. Every case is different, but visitation could be set forth through a flexible or structured schedule or be determined by the parent granted sole custody, or it could be determined that supervised visitation is in the best interest of the child. It is important to note that any custody or visitation decision is not final. If your circumstances or the other parent’s change significantly, you may be able to have the custody order modified.
The Law Offices of Josephia Rouse, LLC in Baltimore serves clients in Calvert, Charles, and Prince George’s counties in child custody cases. Please call 410-324-2583 or contact me online to schedule an initial consultation.