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Not everyone likes child custody rules

In Maryland and many other states, child custody orders are meant to be neutral in regards to gender. However, mothers tend to be granted custody after a couple divorces. If noncustodial parents fail to pay child support, they could be jailed or charged interest on the balance in arrears. One man claimed that he owed $680,000 in back support at an interest rate of 9 percent.

Legal professionals say that noncustodial parents should pay whatever they can even if they can't make full support payments. In many cases, paying even a fraction of what is owed could help to keep a parent out of jail. Those who are truly struggling to keep up with a support order may receive a modified order or some other temporary payment plan. Generally speaking, the odds of obtaining leniency depend on parents making a good faith effort to provide for their child.

This may mean that those who lose high paying jobs must take whatever work is available regardless of its pay or perceived standing. Parents who are interested in having custody of a child should stress their desire to have a relationship with their sons or daughters. They should also be polite and in control of their emotions if they want to obtain a favorable custody ruling.

In child custody cases, the best interests of the children are the primary concern of the court. Therefore, parents must generally show that giving them custody will help a child become a physically and emotionally mature adult. It is not uncommon for both parents to have custody or otherwise play a significant role in a child's life after a divorce. An attorney may help a parent obtain a favorable order or help to modify one that currently exists.

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