Maryland Child Custody Lawyer
Protecting your children and ensuring you do what’s best for them is one of the most important aspects of a Maryland divorce. However, trying to reach an amicable agreement for child custody is one of the most challenging. A custody dispute can often be the most stressful and complex issue of any Maryland divorce. This is why you need a Maryland child custody lawyer on your side.
Since most people aren’t planning for divorce when they marry, the contentious process can take a toll on your children. You want to get through a child custody dispute as quickly and painlessly as possible. This is where Henault & Sysko Chartered can help. Our mission is to minimize the emotional trauma of divorce on your children.
Types of Custody in Maryland
Before things become contentious and you start fighting over who your children will live with, it’s important to understand how child custody works in Maryland.
- Legal Custody: In Maryland, legal custody means which parent has the responsibility and authority over important decisions regarding your children, including healthcare, education, religion, etc.
- Physical Custody: Physical custody refers to who the child physically lives with and will be responsible for daily and short-term decisions.
The court will determine whether to award sole or joint/shared custody. In most cases, the courts prefer to award shared custody unless there is a serious reason that warrants sole custody with only one parent.
Developing a Maryland Parenting Plan
While it can be time-consuming and seem tedious, it’s important to consider a well-drafted parenting plan. This is an agreement you and your spouse can create rather than battle out custody in litigation. A parenting plan can help create structure and confirm routines, which can make the whole divorce and custody process easier for your children. Some of the important topics that a parenting plan should address include:
- Child care specifics
- Parents’ work schedules
- Plans and procedures in the case of an emergency
- Doctor and healthcare information and provider names
- Holiday and vacation schedules
- Education and religion
- Travel plans
- Transportation – pick up and drop off schedules
- How communication between parents will be handled
Parenting plans should always be individualized and not drawn up from a template. This is one of the reasons to retain an experienced Maryland child custody attorney. No two divorces and custody disputes are the same. Perhaps there are special circumstances, like a child who has special needs or a physical disability. A parenting plan for this couple will have very different arrangements than other ones you might find online.
Some people think too many details in a parenting plan can cause more arguments because it’s rigid and doesn’t have much flexibility. Unfortunately, in most cases, it’s the other way around. Failure to include adequate details in your parenting plan can actually cause more arguments and problems. Having everything spelled out sets expectations on both sides, which should help reduce future arguments.
Contact a Maryland Child Custody Lawyer
If you need assistance with child custody in Maryland, contact Henault & Sysko Chartered today to schedule an initial consultation. Let one of our skilled family lawyers help with all your Maryland child custody issues.