Child custody laws take just about every aspect of a child’s life into account. In Maryland, the court issues an order that outlines who is going to have the child living with them and who can make which decisions for the children. You should understand some basic points if you’re going through a custody case in Maryland.
The court order will discuss two types of custody – physical and legal. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with most of the time. This is the person who will provide the majority of the child’s caregiving.
Legal custody has to do with the decision-making for the child. The court decides which parent is responsible for every facet of the child’s life. It might opt to have one parent in charge of some areas and the other parent in charge of different ones. This can include health care, schooling, religion and other important matters.
It is possible for the court to issue an order with sole custody or joint custody for every aspect of physical or legal custody. Sole custody means that one parent holds the entire responsibility for that aspect of the child’s life. Joint custody means that the parents will share the responsibility.
The courts in Maryland consider each case individually. There is no automatic presumption about what type of custody is best for a child, nor is there a preference as to whether the mother or father has physical custody.
Child custody matters can be rather contentious, but the tone you set for the relationship now can carry over into the way things work for the rest of the time the children are minors. Try to remain respectful throughout this process, so things start off on the right foot.