Do The Courts Ever Favor One Parent Over The Other In A Custody Case?


The courts absolutely do not ever favor one parent over the other in a custody case. It’s really dependent on the facts of the case. We are seeing dads really take over most of their responsibilities with children on many occasions and moms who are the ones that are absent from the home or are not providing the care, the focus, attention that the children need, so right now I am not seeing a preference. Most moms are still providing the primary care in families but it doesn’t mean that simply because she has that she will become the physical custodian should the party split. A lot of times in a household, it’s to be presumed that one of them is going to take the role of caring for the children and the other one’s going to take the role of providing for the family. Once they’re separated, the court usually doesn’t hold that against the party who works primarily because they understand that that was okay when they were together. Now that they’re separated, if the dad wants to participate and care for the children and provide everything that the other parent is also providing then he’s not excluded from that; he’s usually given the opportunity.

What Rights Do Grandparents Have In A Child Custody Case In Maryland?

With the cases that we’ve had, grandparents have taken over the care of the children for a long time. They can seek custody rights and they can become the physical custodian of the children if they have actually been providing everything that a parent would provide; they’re the, what you would call, De Facto Parent. They can actually move and obtain physical custody. If you have a situation where grandparents just want access to the children, it really will depend on the circumstances. The ultimate goal for the court is to get to what’s in the best interest of the children. Every situation is different and the court would have to consider the circumstances in order to determine whether continued access or access with the grandparents is in their best interest or not.

What Common Family Issues Can Complicate Child Custody Proceedings?

It’s definitely a long process. Most people are surprised by how long it takes. It could take up to a year. Sometimes if there are postponements or issues with the court docket then it could take longer. The difficulties that I’ve seen are at the beginning of the case. The parties fight over who the child or children will live with at the beginning of the case. At the beginning, if the parties are just separated, there is no court order; both of them have the same rights. I see parties withholding children a lot because if they give the child up then they may not get him/her back and there’s nothing anyone can do to get the child back. I see parties actually getting huge benefits from just having the child at the beginning of a case. I see a lot of temporary hearings, pendente lite hearings in a case, so that the court can establish some form of schedule to keep the peace and not have much chaos involved.

How Long Do Custody Matters Generally Take To Get Resolved?

Custody matters generally can take up to a year to get resolved; usually within a year it ends but it could be longer or a little less. It depends on the circumstances, but that’s what is typical.

Under What Circumstances Can A Custody Order Be Modified?

A reason to modify a custody order can be one of the parties may have moved, one of the parties may no longer be providing the type of care and attention that the child needs or one of the parties may decide that the child’s wanting to live with them is enough to move forward with the modification. The age of the children could be a reason to modify the custody if a schedule was set when the child was an infant or a toddler and now they’re much older and a different schedule is best.

Why Is It Critical To Hire An Experienced Attorney To Handle A Child Custody Case?

It is critical to hire an experienced attorney to handle a child custody case because an attorney knows when a case should settle and what it should settle for. They know what the boundaries are based on what they’ve seen and based on what courthouse and based on what judge is coming up and will hear the case. An attorney can advise every step of the way about what options are available and what’s likely to happen so that the party feels confident that they know what they’re getting into. If a trial comes up and there is an appearance in court then there are rules, such as rules of evidence and procedure. Even if a party has all the evidence that they consider evidence and all the facts in their favor, it has to be presented in a very specific way. You have to follow the rules and most people don’t know those rules. Attorneys do know the rules and that’s why it’s best to get the help from an attorney.

It’s important to hire an attorney that has experience with family law matters. You could end up getting someone that doesn’t have enough experience and then they provide advice and guidance that’s not accurate or may not see something ahead that they should. I think that if you have someone that’s experienced then you can benefit greatly from that experience.

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