Although many argue that joint custody is usually the best for a child, this is not always the case. There are numerous factors that a judge considers when determining who should get custody.
When looking at what is in the best interest of each child, there are a variety of arguments that could sway the court to award sole custody to you. If you are willing to spend the money, it may be worth fighting for in court.
Child custody basics
In contested situations, a judge decides who gets legal custody and who gets physical custody. Legal custody refers to whether one or both parents can make decisions about the child regarding important issues such as education, religion, welfare and healthcare. Physical refers to who the child will live with.
The trial to determine custody takes place in front of a judge or magistrate. This individual will listen to both sides, examine the evidence and possibly hear from professionals. If you do not agree with the final decision, you may request a review.
Factors the judge considers
According to the Maryland Courts, the best interest consideration covers a wide variety of factors. When considering joint custody, the most important factor is the ability of the parents to make decisions together that positively affect the child’s welfare. If you and your spouse are not able to communicate and get along for the sake of the child, the judge may award sole custody.
The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs and provide a loving and stable home are important. However, even if both parents are able to do this, additional factors that may cause the judge to order sole physical custody to one parent are:
- One parent has excessive work demands
- There has been adultery in the marriage
- The parental homes are not in close proximity
- Joint custody would disrupt the child’s academic or social life
Once the child turns a certain age, the judge also takes into consideration the child’s wishes.