Prince George's County Custody and Access / Time-Sharing Lawyer
Be informed about how custody and access/time-sharing works. When you are resolving a custody dispute, whether for an initial order or modifying an existing order, or whether you need help developing an access schedule solution that works for your family, be sure to have a knowledgeable attorney on your team. Many aspects of the custody process can create anxiety and modification of an existing order of custody or visitation can be particularly complicated. Contact the Law Office of Robin Rucker Gaillard, LLC, and get help from an experienced and effective advocate devoted to working hard for you.
Maryland courts make decisions regarding two (2) distinct types of custody–legal custody and physical custody. “Legal custody” is the legal right given to a parent (or in some cases to third-party) by a court to make binding, long-range decisions for a child as to their heath, education, moral upbringing, discipline, and general development. There are three (3) types of legal custody recognized by Maryland: (1) sole legal custody; (2) joint legal custody; and (3) joint legal custody with “tie-breaking” authority. “Physical custody” is quite literally where, or in which parent’s home, the child spends the night or sleeps, and principally spends the most time. Physically custody often has a direct bearing on the computation of child support.
- Sole Legal Custody. This circumstance involves one parent having the legal authority to make major long-range child-rearing decisions as to the child’s health, education, moral upbringing, discipline and other issues involving the child’s welfare and development. The parent granted sole legal custody must keep the other parent informed of all child-rearing decisions and should confer with and take into consideration the other parent’s input before making a decision.
- Joint Legal Custody. This circumstance involves both parents having the legal authority to jointly make major long-range child-rearing decisions as to the child’s health, education, moral upbringing, discipline and other issues involving the child’s welfare and development. Neither parent’s rights are superior to the other parent’s rights.
- Joint Legal Custody with Tie-Breaking Authority. In this instance, both parties must work together to attempt to reach a shared decision about long-range major child-rearing issues such as health, education, moral upbringing, discipline and other issues involving the child’s welfare and development. If the parents reach an impasse and cannot resolve a material dispute and fail to reach a shared decision about child-rearing, then one parent will have the right to make the final decision to resolve the matter as he or she sees fit.
- Primary Physical Custody. The parent with whom the child spends 237 overnights has primary physical custody of a minor child and must provide a home for the child. This parent also makes day-to-day decisions regarding the minor child. In this instance child support is computed using the sole custody child support guidelines worksheet.
- Shared Physical Custody. When the child spends at least 128 overnights with one parent, then the parents have shared physical custody. This circumstance triggers computation of child support using the shared physical custody child support guidelines worksheet.
When it comes to your family, make sure to get all of information possible concerning custody and access/time-sharing. Simply because parents don’t live in the same house doesn’t mean that an effective co-parenting paradigm can’t be designed. Many children benefit most from co-parenting influences from both parents but when agreeing on what is best for the children is in dispute be sure to rely on an experienced practitioner to advocate for you.