Our family lawyer Frederick, MD relies on knows that one of the most difficult parts of a Maryland divorce to get through is the details of child custody. There are many variations of how the courts may decide how custody and parenting time should be shared between parents. Once custody has been decided, the goal for both parents is, hopefully, that the two are able to co-parent peacefully and agreeably with minimum conflict. However, as a family lawyer Frederick, MD clients trust can attest, it is not uncommon – as the years pass and the child gets older – for that child to announce that they now want to live the majority of the time with the other parent instead of the parent they have been living with.
While your child’s announcement may come as a shock, it is important to understand why your child wants to initiate changes to custody arrangements. These include:
If your child is voicing a desire to change the current parenting plan, contact Peeples Law to discuss what the best legal direction to take in this situation is.
How Much Weight Do the Child’s Wishes Have with the Court?
As a Frederick, Maryland family lawyer can explain, the law does not state a specific age a minor child must be before their wishes determine which parent they should live with. Instead, the court will consider several factors, along with the child’s wishes, when making the decision of which – if either – parent should have primary physical custody. These factors include:
The family court judge who will decide if the current custody arrangement should be changed may also order a guardian ad litem to interview all pertinent parties before making the final judgment, as well as the testimony and/or opinion of the child’s therapist if they are involved in any kind of therapy.
What can our attorney do for you?
We understand that when you are going through a divorce or making child custody arrangements, there are more pressing things on your mind than splitting up with your spouse. If you have children, determining child custody could be one of the most important decisions that you make through your divorce process. You may be wondering who decides where your kids go and how that decision is made. Many people believe the mother automatically gets custody of the children, but this is far from true. More and more judges are trying to give children the best opportunities by growing up with both parents as huge parts of their lives. A judge will be making decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child.
Factors That Go Into Determining Child Custody
Is it ever possible to make decisions without a judge or court with child custody?
When it comes to making decisions regarding child custody, it would be in everyone’s best interest (typically) if both parents could come to an agreement without the court needing to intervene. Loving parents will usually know what is best for their children. If a court finds that the custody arrangements the parents made do not seem to be in the best interest of the children, though, the court can create a different custody order.
Who can you turn to?
We understand that the thought of not being with your children anymore can be one of the worst things that could happen. When you have a Frederick, Maryland family lawyer on your side, you know you are getting someone who will fight on your behalf regarding child custody. Call our office to see what we can do for you now.
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It is very important for parents to not make any kind of custody changes without first consulting with an attorney and obtaining court approval. If one parent allows the child to come live with them without getting the court’s approval first – and without the other parent’s agreement – they may find themselves in deep legal trouble with the court that could result in contempt of court and penalties. The only exception to this is if the child’s health or safety is in immediate peril. In this situation, contact your family attorney immediately.
For more information regarding your child’s custody, contact Peeples Law to meet with a skilled Frederick, MD family lawyer; call our office today.