What Does the Court Consider When Determining Child Custody?

Are you going through a divorce and want to spend as much time as possible with your children after it is all said and done? You will need to push for primary child custody rights. You will also need to consider the wishes of your ex-spouse, who may also believe they should be the one to see your children most often. When there is a disagreement between divorcing spouses and the court needs to weigh in to make the final decision regarding child custody, what does it consider?

  1. Parenting ability: The best interests of the child is the main priority of the court. Oftentimes a person’s own parenting ability is the key factor in maintaining a child’s happiness. The better you get along and the more you understand about the needs and interest of your child, the more likely you will be granted primary child custody. Testimonies from close friends and family, or even your child if they are a teenager, can be used to argue your case.
  2. Criminal history: The court has the right to view your criminal history when deciding on child custody matters. People who have been convicted of serious or violent crimes will likely not be given primary custody, or any custody at all. If your ex-spouse has committed domestic violence, the court may only allow them to visit irregularly and with supervision.
  3. Health: Everyone’s health must be considered by the court, which includes your own, that of your ex, and that of your child. If you are mentally or physically ill and require hospitalization, you are not likely to be granted custody. If your child has special health needs that are difficult for you to meet due to your free time or finances, custody could be given to your ex-spouse.
  4. Location: Removing a child from their hometown or familiar neighborhood can be damaging to their development, especially if they are older and have created strong bonds with classmates and friends. The court will consider the ramifications of choosing one parent over the other if the two are separated by a large distance.

Do you need more information about child custody cases in Maryland? You can contact Gardner Law Firm, P.C. and our Rockville divorce lawyers would be happy to help you. We have more than 35 years of collective legal experience and have achieved an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, so you know you can trust us with the delicate issues of your family law dispute.