Child Custody Lawyer Rockville, MD
At the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, we have dedicated our lives to helping families understand and navigate the legal process of child custody. We understand the difficulties involved in outlining a custody agreement, and work hard to make sure that the legal process is focused most importantly on the well-being of your children. Contact our firm today to speak with a compassionate and caring Child Custody Lawyer Rockville, MD trusts on our team.
The Concept of Child Custody
In Maryland, the courts break up the concept of custody into two parts. The first part is legal custody. This involves the right to make important decisions in a child’s life – things like education, religion, medical decisions, and so on. The second part is physical custody, or where a child spends time.
How is custody determined?
Custody cases normally take about 9 months to work their way through the court system. If a couple is divorcing the court will usually decide custody issues first. There may be a special hearing to determine visitation during the pendency of the divorce case. If the parents are not married, they will still be offered a hearing to determine temporary visitation. Sometimes the court will assign a social worker to evaluate the parents and their fitness.
Who makes the determination?
Sometimes during a court case the parties are able to reach a common ground and agree on a custody and visitation schedule. If not, a judge will decide.
What factors does a judge use in deciding custody and visitation issues?
The judges use many factors in making custody determinations. Some of them are mandated by the case law, but others are just common sense. For example, who has been the primary caregiver of the children over the years? Where do the parent’s live? Where do the children go to school? Are there concerns about drugs? When do the parents get off of work so they can pick up the children? The list of factors can be endless.
What are some common arrangements?
Having the non-custodial parent take the children on alternating weekends is the most common. Sometimes the court will award a weekday dinner, too. If the court wants to give extra time sometimes the judge will have the non-custodial parent keep the children on Sunday night and take them to school Monday morning. For younger children, if the parents want to have a more equal distribution of the time 2-2-5-5 is popular. This involves…..
How often can custody be reviewed?
There is no set time. It can be reviewed when there is a substantial change of circumstances. What constitutes a change of circumstances is not always clear. Certainly a move out of the area by one of the parents is a change of circumstance. Sometimes the refusal of one parent to abide by court orders is considered a change of circumstance. Usually, the mere passage of time is not considered a change of circumstance.
Child Custody Arrangements Explained
Navigating through the complexities of child custody can be a challenging journey for parents. At The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, an experienced Rockville, MD child custody lawyer, we understand the intricacies involved in these cases. Our approach is to provide clear, compassionate guidance to ensure the best interests of your child are always at the forefront.
Understanding Sole Custody
Sole custody is an arrangement where one parent is granted the majority of custodial rights (both legal and physical). This includes making key decisions about the child’s education, health, and welfare. In these cases, the non-custodial parent may have visitation rights, but they do not share in the decision-making process. It’s a setup often chosen in situations where one parent is deemed unfit or unable to provide a stable environment for the child.
Joint Custody and Its Dynamics
Joint custody, on the other hand, allows both parents to have an equal say in important decisions about their child’s life. This type of custody promotes a cooperative parenting approach, ensuring that the child maintains a strong relationship with both parents. However, it requires effective communication and a willingness to work collaboratively, which can be a challenge for some parents post-separation.
Physical Custody Versus Legal Custody
It’s essential to distinguish between physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, while legal custody involves the right to make significant decisions about the child’s upbringing. In some cases, parents may share legal custody but not physical custody, or vice versa. Our role as your Rockville child custody lawyer is to help determine the most suitable arrangement for your family’s unique situation.
Bird’s Nest Custody
A less common but innovative approach is bird’s nest custody. This arrangement focuses on the child staying in one home, while the parents rotate in and out based on a predetermined schedule. It aims to provide the child with a stable living environment and minimize disruption. Though logistically complex, it can be an effective solution for families looking to maintain consistency for their children.
Creating a Parenting Plan
A crucial component of any custody arrangement is the parenting plan. This detailed document outlines how parents will share responsibilities and make decisions about their child’s welfare. It includes schedules, holiday arrangements, and guidelines for communication. Our team takes great care in assisting clients to develop a comprehensive and fair parenting plan that suits the best interests of the child.
Custody Modifications and Re-evaluations
Custody arrangements are not set in stone. As children grow and circumstances change, it may become necessary to modify these arrangements. Whether it’s due to relocation, changes in employment, or other significant life events, we can guide you through the process of requesting a custody modification.
Our Team Can Help
At The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, we are committed to guiding families through the complexities of child custody with empathy and legal acumen. As your dedicated Rockville child custody lawyer, we understand that every family’s situation is unique, and we are here to provide personalized legal support tailored to your specific needs.
If you are navigating the challenges of child custody and require professional legal assistance, we encourage you to reach out to us. Let’s work together to find the best solution for your child and your family. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing a positive future for your child.
Contact Our Lawyer Today
Navigating a child custody battle alone can be overwhelming and painful. With the help of a compassionate and caring Child Custody Lawyer Rockville, MD looks to from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, you can rest assured that your case will be handled with care and will focus, most importantly on the welfare of your child(ren). Call us to set up a consultation, today.