Few relationships are as important or a special as the relationship between a parent and his or her children. When a couple with children decides to get divorced or not live together, there are often significant disagreements about with whom the children will live and about certain parenting decisions as well. Maryland law recognizes that both parents have rights and courts determine custody issues based on the “best interests of the child”. Of course, determining what is in the child’s best interests is a complicated issue and often requires a court to consider a significant amount of evidence. For this reason, it is critical for anyone involved in a child custody dispute to retain an experienced family law attorney immediately.

What Does the Court Consider When Determining the Best Interests of the Child?

When a court is asked to decide child custody, it looks at all relevant factors to determine what is in the child’s best interests. Importantly, courts have significant discretion when determining child custody, so it is important to present the strongest case possible in support of the custody situation you are seeking.

Some of the factors the court may consider include the following:

  • Who the primary caregiver is;
  • The psychological and physical fitness of each party;
  • Character and reputation;
  • Evidence of abuse;
  • The preference of the child;
  • The material opportunity each parent can offer;
  • The age, gender, and health of the child;
  • The parent’s residences and whether there will be opportunities for visitation;
  • The amount of time a child has been separated from a particular parent, if any;
  • Prior surrender of custody or abandonment;
  • The parent’s religious views, in some cases; and
  • Whether either party has a disability that could affect the physical or emotional well-being of the child.

An Attorney may be Able to Help Negotiate a Custody Agreement

In almost every conceivable case, it is better for parents to come to a custody agreement without the intervention of the court. While it may be difficult to communicate and negotiate effectively with your spouse or your child’s other parent, it is often possible for an attorney to do so. For this reason, it can be helpful to retain a lawyer well before any legal case is filed or you are required to appear in court.

Call a Maryland Child Custody Law Firm Today to Retain a Qualified Attorney

If you are going through a divorce in which children are involved or are having a dispute with your child’s other parent regarding custody, you should consult with an attorney immediately. In many cases, the representation of an experienced lawyer can have a significant impact on the way a child custody case is ultimately resolved. The Maryland child custody lawyers of Conklyn & Associates have been helping individuals with legal issues to family law for more than 25 years and are committed to ensuring the each client’s case is resolved as favorably as possible. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (310) 620-1190.