When Maryland couples divorce, parenting time is usually one of the main concerns and custody goals of both parents. Every parent wants to have sufficient parenting time and to remain a prominent part of his or her child's life. In a divorce, one of the main roles of the family court is to establish a custody arrangement that is practical and protects the best interests of any minor children.
The best interests of the children will differ from case to case. There is no specific list to which Maryland family courts refer, but courts often consider multiple factors, such as keeping the children in their current schools or relocation requests from a parent. In some cases, the wishes of the child may be considered. Parents may work together, along with their respective legal teams, to establish a custody plan, but every arrangement is subject to approval by the court.
If a parent would like to seek sole physical and/or legal custody, it is possible to petition the court. When parents are not in agreement over custody, they will rely on the court to determine which parent will be granted custody. The court will be acting in the best interest of the child. For some cases in which there are extreme circumstances, third parties, such as grandparents, may be awarded a change in custody or visitation.
Some parents may be required to go through mediation. Each person may secure legal counsel to represent his or her best interests throughout the process, actively pursuing the desired parenting time arrangement. When it comes to child custody and divorce, it may be best to seek the advice and support of a family law professional.
Source: courts.state.md.us, "Family Law Information", Accessed on Feb. 2, 2015