Law Office of Allyson B. Goldscher

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Baltimore Child Custody Lawyer

Know Your Options in a Child Custody Case

When parents separate, it is imperative that they seek legal representation as early in the process as possible. Baltimore child custody lawyer, Allyson B.Goldscher, understands the uniquely delicate nature of a child custody dispute. Ms. Goldscher will aggressively pursue a claim for child custody while remaining sensitive to the needs of her clients and their children.

Best Interest of Children

In Maryland, when custody is contested, the court is primarily concerned with what is in the best interest of the children.  To determine what is in the best interest of your child when awarding physical custody, the judge considers factors including, but not limited to:

  • Fitness of each parent
  • Character and reputation of each parent
  • Age, sex and health of the child
  • Physical, spiritual and moral well-being of the child
  • Desire of parents and any agreement between them
  • Preference of child (if child is old enough)
  • Residences of the parents and opportunity for visitation
  • Material opportunities affecting the future of child

A judge will examine other factors in making such a determination, including, but not limited to, whether a parent has ever been accused of child abuse or abandonment. When applying this best interest standard, courts strive to strike a balance between what has been requested by parents with what will prove the least disruptive for their child while taking into account which parent is better positioned to provide stability for their children long-term.

Baltimore child custody lawyers note that child custody disputes encompass more than just physical custody. Legal custody is also a complicated, fiercely-debated issue. If parents are unable to reach an agreement. A parent with sole legal custody is free to choose not only a religion for their child, but also to make unilateral decisions regarding medical treatment, education and more. As with physical custody, legal custody can be shared by both parents and both forms of custody can be modified if needed.

Types of Custody

Legal Custody is defined as the right and obligation to make long range decisions involving education, religious training, discipline, medical care and other matters of major significance concerning the child’s welfare.  Joint legal custody means that the parties must reach decisions together.

With joint legal custody, both parents have an equal say. Joint legal custody is usually awarded in cases where the parties communicate well.  If the parties are unable to reach a joint decision, one parent may be awarded the primary decision making authority or sole legal custody.

Physical Custody is defined as the right and obligation to provide a home for the child and to make the day-to-day decisions required during the time the child is actually with the parent having such custody. Physical custody refers to where your child will primarily reside. The court can award primary or shared custody, depending on your child’s best interests.

When Primary or Sole Custody Arrangements make Sense

Joint custody is not always the best option for children or their parents. Parents must be able to interact and communicate with each other more frequently than in a sole or primary custody arrangement. If hostilities remain, a couple may choose to limit contact with each other, making the joint custody arrangement difficult to maintain. If one partner is unable or unwilling to perform vital parental duties, the children may not receive the level of supervision and care necessary for a healthy, safe upbringing. The success of a joint custody arrangement depends in part on the maturity and adaptability of the children. Constantly jumping between parents can feel chaotic for some children, compounding the upheaval of a traumatic experience. Some children are better suited to having one stable, constant home with regular visits to the other parent.

Establishing a Custody Arrangement Prior to Divorce

The precedent you establish after your separation may affect a judge’s decision in trial. If you engage in a shared custody arrangement, a judge may decide to keep the status quo to limit further disruption to the children’s lives. If you allow the other parent to handle most day-to-day caretaking duties, you weaken your argument for gaining custody.

Baltimore Child Custody Lawyer, Allyson B. Goldscher, Represents All Sides in Child Custody Disputes

A breakdown of the family unit can be heartbreaking for children. That is why Baltimore child custody lawyer, Allyson B. Goldscher, approaches each child custody case with compassion and conviction. Whether you are a single mother who suddenly finds her sole physical and legal custody challenged by an absentee father, or a stay-at-home dad worried that maternal bias will trump your record as caregiver in upcoming divorce proceedings, contact the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher at 410-602-9522 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation today. We serve clients throughout Baltimore County, including Baltimore City and Stevenson, Maryland.