Oftentimes in divorce, and also in custody cases with unmarried people who have had children together, the issue of physical custody can become a big conflict and many questions may be running through your head — who has the children this weekend? who gets the children for Christmas this year? who gets the kids when schools are closed?
However, child custody is more than just a visitation schedule – it also outlines how decisions in your child’s life are going to be made for the foreseeable future — what doctor is my child seeing? what procedures need to be done? what school should they go to? what religion should they practice?
How such decisions are made and, more importantly, by whom those decisions are made – known as legal custody – become critical in any child custody determination by the Courts in Maryland. When determining whether one parent should be the sole decision-maker, or both parents could make decisions jointly, the court must evaluate the parents by several key factors.
In the case Taylor v. Taylor, Maryland courts articulated factors that should be assessed when deciding whether to award joint custody to the parties instead of sole custody to one party. These factors include the parents’ psychological and physical fitness, their character and reputation, and sometimes their own children’s preference.
Factors like potential abuse are important to the Court and should be considered. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, child abuse cases in some areas have substantially dropped, leading authorities to question whether or not cases are falling through the cracks as children are seen less and less by mandatory reporters of abuse like their teachers.
If you are currently having difficulties in decision-making with your co-parent or need to establish or modify an existing child custody order, contact an experienced professional at the Law Offices of Thomas Stahl at (410) 696-4326 or email email@example.com to discuss your options and gain guidance on how to best proceed with your potential matter.