Maryland Child Custody and Child Visitation
In Maryland, child custody is a term used to define what person or guardian has custody or authority over a minor. Child custody gives the person or State the right to make numerous decisions regarding the minor's welfare, similar to parental rights, including health care, education, and living locations of the child. If a Maryland child custody dispute arises, Maryland courts will look to a variety of factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child or children involved. In addition to child custody determinations, the Maryland child custody court will also determine if visitation rights should be granted to a parent or guardian who does not have physical custody of a child. It is advisable to speak with a Maryland child custody attorney if you are concerned about your child custody or child visitation rights.
Maryland Child Custody
Maryland court may award child custody of a minor child to either parent or joint custody to both parents. When making this determination the court will use the "best interest of the child" standard and neither parent will be presumed to have any right to custody over the other parent. The Maryland court may consider many factors when determining the best interest of the child such as parental roles, health, age, and needs of the child.
A Maryland court will grant a parent or guardian one or both (joint), of two types of child custody:
The child's opinion may be taken into account in a custody hearing, but only a minor who is 16 years old or older may file a petition to change custody if it has already been granted. It is in your best interest to consult a Maryland child custody attorney to discuss your options.
Maryland Child Custody Visitation Rights
Visitation rights are the rights of a noncustodial parent (the parent without physical custody of the child) to spend time and be with their child. The Maryland courts take child visitation rights very seriously and the parent with custodial rights must not interfere with the other parent's court ordered visitation rights.
If the Maryland court determines that a party to a custody or visitation order has unjustifiably denied or interfered with visitation granted by a custody or visitation order, the court may, in addition to any other remedy available to the court and in a manner consistent with the best interests of the child, take any or all of the following actions:
The court will consider many factors when determining an appropriate order for visitation rights including the best interest of the child, abuse, criminal activities, and a child's wishes. It is very important to discuss your child visitation rights with a Maryland child custody lawyer.
Maryland Annotated Code
Child Custody and Visitation Rights