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Resolving child custody disputes

Ideally, divorcing parents would quietly talk over how best to protect their child and how they can each act in the best interests of the child. As you know, we don't live in that ideal world. Divorcing parents often have disagreements over custody; whether it should be shared or granted to just one parent.

In many cases, the parents will, with the assistance of their family law attorneys, be able to negotiate a settlement acceptable to both. The needs of both parents will be recognized, as will their respective parenting skills and incomes, and of course, what is ultimately best for their child.

When the parents cannot come to a negotiated agreement on child custody and related issues such as visitation, litigation is sometimes the only means of resolving outstanding issues. That means going to before a Maryland court with your lawyer and telling your side of the situation to the judge, who will then decide custody issues.

A court considers a multitude of factors before coming to a decision on what all would agree is a weighty issue. According to the state of Maryland, the factors considered in child custody include the following:

  • Abuse: has a parent abused the child or the other spouse?
  • Child's desires: what does he or she want?
  • Material advantages: which parent can best provide?
  • Parent character and reputation: how do other people view the spouses?
  • Prior voluntary abandonment or surrender: has one of the parents in the past left the family or the child?

There are many other factors in play as well. Talk to an experienced Annapolis family law attorney about which factors might be most important in your situation.

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