* The following article – What Can Legally be Used Against You in a Custody Battle – contains legal information and should not be taken as official legal advice. For legal advice, always consult with an attorney.*
The dissolution of a marriage is undeniably distressing, both mentally and emotionally. When custody battles are thrown into the mix, the challenges become even more daunting. The prospect of limited time with your child can evoke feelings of frustration and bitterness.
However, it’s imperative to approach custody battles with composure, as a parent’s conduct significantly influences the outcome. Judges closely observe each parent’s behavior, prioritizing the child’s best interests in their determinations. This article delves into the intricacies of custody battles, detailing the types of custody orders and shedding light on potential pitfalls that can impact your case.
Without further ado, let’s get into the bulk of our article.
Child’s Best Interest Standard
Commencing with a fundamental inquiry: “How do courts evaluate child custody cases?” The particulars diverge based on jurisdiction, though commonly, the fundamental query courts deliberate upon when rendering judgments impacting minors is: what is the in the child’s best interest?
The definition of the “child’s best interest” remains multifaceted, based on a number of factors including the fitness of the parents, character of the parents, differences in the parent’s homes, prior agreements, and more.
As such, it is imperative that parents focus their efforts on the child’s interests rather than their own interests or competing with the other parent. Whether requesting sole or joint custody, parents need to present evidence related to the child’s best interests, including parental and social relationships, educational and physical growth, and maintaining family relations.
Understanding Custody Orders
The landscape of Maryland Family Law can be overwhelming for many families. While comprehensive legal knowledge isn’t mandatory, being aware of essential facts is crucial.
There are two primary types of child custody orders under Maryland Family Law: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody pertains to decision-making rights, including education, welfare, and healthcare. On the other hand, physical custody determines the child’s living arrangements and day-to-day decision making.
A legal custody order can provide a parent with sole decision-making authority or provide the parents with joint decision-making authority. If a parent has sole legal custody, they have the ability to make legal decisions for the minor child without the permission of the other parent. While parents with joint legal custody must communicate and agree prior to making any legal decision.
Physical custody orders will provide for primary custody or shared custody. These orders will outline where the minor child resides on specific days. This provides stability for the minor child and ensures that each parent has outlined rights to specific nights with the minor child.
It is always good to remember that Maryland law presumes it is in the best interest of the minor child to maintain a relationship with both parents. Often, one parent emerges as the primary custodian due to the difficulty of precisely dividing time and to ensure the child has stability with their schooling. However, it is good to remember that the other parent will maintain an access schedule, which could be as little as supervised access to an enumerated number of nights. Courts rarely deny a parent access, unless there is evidence showing the other parent is unfit or has abused the minor children.
Common Mistakes That Affect Custody Battles
While some of these actions may seem obvious, they are all too common mistakes that are made every day by individuals involved in child custody disputes.
- Lack of Cooperation: Collaborating with your former partner is challenging but crucial. Courts favor joint legal and physical custody, necessitating cooperative behavior. Considering your ex-spouse as a teammate striving for the child’s welfare can prevent negative consequences in court.
- Disregarding Custody Schedule: Honoring visitation agreements is pivotal. Delays or rescheduling could indicate the denial of access or even parental alienation. This could be used to show the inability to make appropriate decisions related to the minor child’s best interest. Utilize allocated time fully to demonstrate dedication and responsibility.
- Physical Altercations: Any physical altercation with the minor child or the other parent can be detrimental to your case. Physical assault, even without charges, significantly impacts your image in court. Domestic violence is taken seriously, considering the child’s emotional well-being and safety.
- Criticizing the Other Parent: Avoid criticizing the other parent, particularly in front of the child. Negative behavior undermines your credibility and might be used against you in court.
- Bringing New Partners: Introducing new partners during custody battles can confuse children further. Prioritize your child’s emotional stability, refraining from introducing new relationships until the appropriate time for your family, specifically your child.
- Neglecting Child’s Routine: Disrupting your child’s routine or activities is unfavorable. Stability is paramount, so ensure consistency in their life despite the ongoing turmoil.
- Verbal Altercations: Much like physical altercations, verbal altercations can have a massive impact on your case. Having a verbal altercation with your spouse or significant other can indicate unfavorable temperament to the court, especially if the altercation occurs in the child’s presence.
- Removal of Child From School Without Proper Notification of Partner: Courts take into account the child’s nonattendance at daycare or school very seriously. If a child is missing class, it will casts an unfavorable light on the parent responsible during those times.
While this is not an exhaustive list of every factor that courts may take into consider when making a child custody judgment, it’s a great place to start.
Always consult with a licensed child custody attorney in your area for legal advice before initiation of the child custody process.
Final Word – Child Custody Consultation
Are you or somebody that you know about to begin the arduous child custody process?
This is where the dedicated team at Jezic & Moyse steps in to offer assistance. At Jezic & Moyse, we recognize that the worth of your loved ones is beyond measure. We pledge to tackle your unique case, advocating and fighting on your behalf as you navigate through this stress-inducing legal journey.
Drawing from decades of experience, we assure you that your sensitive situation will be managed with the confidence of knowing that you have Maryland’s finest by your side.
Connect us today for a comprehensive legal consultation tailored to your specific domestic matter.