Most people consider child custody to be the most challenging aspect of family law because of the factors involved in custody cases. Not only are parents contending with their own feelings and beliefs regarding their right to see their children, they must also contend with their ex-spouse, who may not see custody negotiations as a friendly conversation but rather as a battle that must end in a winner.
When the subject of child custody comes up in conversation, some assume that divorce or separation is a factor. While this can and often is the case, it's worth pointing out that the topic of child custody can come about when talking about other family law issues as well. This has become more apparent this month for Marylanders and people across the country because of a case out of Silver Spring that is grabbing national attention.
Although divorce is difficult for all parties, it is possible for parents to establish a plan that protects the best interests of any children involved. It may be difficult to share parenting after a divorce, but parents have the opportunity to be consistent and loving, even if they do not get along with their ex-spouse. The needs of the children should come first, and any parenting plan submitted to a family court for approval should reflect this.
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.
When a relationship ends, it is often assumed that the mother will be the one to retain physical custody of the children. However, recently, more fathers are fighting to have equal parenting time with their children. Fathers in Maryland -- and elsewhere -- may hope to swing the tide from mostly maternal care to a more equitable distribution of custody.