When you and your child’s other parent split up, you may need to have a Maryland court work out a custody arrangement if you are unable to agree on terms yourselves. When tasked with making decisions about where a child should live, Maryland’s family courts consider areas that help them determine what living arrangement might benefit your child most.
Per the Maryland Courts, family courts consider many factors when making determinations about child custody, but they may vary based on the age of the child involved. However, if you find yourself involved in a child custody case, know that courts often consider the following, among other factors.
Your child’s own wishes
When age-appropriate, a court may give weight to your child’s own preferences about where to live. This does not automatically mean that a child’s word is the final word, but it may impact final custody decisions.
Compliance with existing agreements
The court may also weigh the likelihood of you and your ex sticking to established agreements. If the two of you already live in separate homes, your compliance and willingness to communicate and work with your former partner to date, and vice-versa, may also impact child custody decisions.
Fitness of both parents
Maryland courts also consider whether both of you have what it takes to give your child a stable, happy home life. If you have both, until this point, been responsible, loving parents, a joint custody arrangement may be a likely result. If your ex has a history of abuse or neglect, though, and you do not, this may tip things in your favor.