Most of the time, when a couple divorces, they will share custody of their minor children. A judge will usually assume that shared custody is best for the kids, even if the parents fight with one another. Most couples create a shared parenting plan rather than have a litigated custody battle.
However, there are still some parents who would prefer not to share custody with their ex following a divorce. Is it ever possible to secure sole custody in a Maryland divorce?
Parents can reach their own settlement outside of court
Despite shared custody being the preferred solution in litigated divorces, a family law judge will sometimes still approve a divorce settlement that only gives one parent custody. For example, one parent may want to move away after a divorce. A parent may have a demanding job that prevents them from having parental responsibility beyond financial support and visitation. If the parents negotiate their own settlement outside of court involving sole custody, a Maryland judge will eventually approve that even if they would otherwise expect the parents to share custody.
You can push for sole custody in limited situations
In some cases, a parent may seek a sole custody arrangement. You don’t have to agree to share custody if you think it will be dangerous for your children.
If you have evidence that can help you show the court a history of abuse, neglect or even substance abuse, they may agree to limit your ex’s parenting time for the safety of the children. Unsubstantiated claims may have little impact on custody proceedings, but documented claims could help you protect your children. Understanding how Maryland approaches custody matters can help you plan for your upcoming divorce.