At one time, it was fairly common for courts in Maryland and other states to side with mothers when there was a need to make custody decisions. According to one study, this is exactly what happened about 80 percent of the time 1980. But that figured dropped to around 40 percent nearly three decades later. It's a reflection of an increasingly common preference for joint custody or shared parenting.
Above all else, divorced parents in Maryland and elsewhere are advised to keep their children's best interests in mind. This is just one piece of advice typically given to divorced individuals looking to successfully co-parent after a marriage ends. Barring dangerous situations, it's often best for a parent to not keep a child from another parent who may be unreliable or have other flaws. Doing so may cause them to falsely idolize that individual.
According to a recently published study, Maryland children of divorce may benefit more from regular communication with their parents than from their parents having a good relationship with each other. While it has been assumed that the relationship between the parents is a significant factor in a child's adjustment to divorce, study results did not support this.
When a separated couple in Maryland starts planning a parenting schedule, they should think about what the situation will be like for their children. Considering the transitional challenges can help parents design a schedule that is child-focused.
Parents in Maryland who are going through a divorce may want to share custody or ensure that one child has ample visitation time with the parent who does not have custody. At the same time, the parents may find that whenever they are together or try to communicate, it erupts into conflict. This can be particularly upsetting for their children. Studies show that it is exposure to this conflict that is the most difficult for children after divorce, so parents should seek to minimize it.
Whether a divorce is contentious or amicable in Maryland, most divorced or divorcing couples can agree that the best interests of any children involved in the process need to be at the heart of the matter. Traditionally, children of divorced or divorcing couples have faced the prospect of shuttling between two different homes, but a recent trend is seeking to change that. "Birdnesting" is a custody arrangement in which both parents share a home while living separately to provide children with a singular place of residence during or after a divorce.
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.
The reasons that Maryland couples decide to end their marriages vary but sometimes depend on people's backgrounds. Relationship quality exerts a large influence, but personal histories can also alter the odds of a person choosing to get a divorce. For example, research has identified children of divorced parents as being at a higher risk of divorce. Daughters of divorced parents experience a 60 percent greater likelihood of dissolving their marriages than people raised by married parents. The divorce risk rises by 35 percent for sons of divorced parents.
When Maryland parents decide to divorce, concern about the effects on their children is often uppermost in their minds. This can be especially true as kids head off to a new school year. Every academic year can be a time of uncertainty, anxiety and anticipation as children prepare for new friends, teachers and classes. However, the school year transition can be especially challenging when the children's lives are split between two homes for the first time. While academic life after divorce will become routine in future years, parents can help to ease kids' transition in that first back-to-school period after a divorce.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of children in the country are born to parents who are not married. This is an increase from 18.4 percent in 2007. Unmarried fathers in Maryland and other states do have rights to their children, and the first step in obtaining those rights is to establish paternity. Doing so can be as simple as including the father's name on the child's birth certificate.