When children are involved, a divorce usually becomes more complicated—which is why having the right child custody lawyers is so important. At Andalman & Flynn, we fight to protect your best interests during this difficult time so you can focus on supporting your children and starting a better life.
Our child custody lawyers serve Wheaton, MD, helping clients achieve the best outcomes from the worst of situations. Let us help you through this transition—call us to schedule a consultation today!
Determining Child Custody
In the Wheaton, MD area, child custody is determined during the divorce process, either through mediation or through a judge’s decision. There are two types of child custody in the state:
- Legal custody defines the parental right to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare.
- Physical custody refers to the child’s daily living arrangements.
In both scenarios, the two basic forms of custody include sole and joint custody.
In sole custody arrangements, one parent has all legal rights and powers and can make all decisions for the children. In cases of sole physical custody, the child must also reside with the custodial parent; the non-custodial parent, however, is given the right to visit the child.
In most states, including Maryland, the limited rights and privileges of the non-custodial parent have evolved over the past decade so parents have equal legal access to child-related information of an educational and medical nature; both parents can typically also make medical decisions in emergencies when the child is in the non-custodial parent’s care.
In joint custody arrangements, each parent retains certain rights and responsibilities with respect to post-divorce parenting. However, wide latitude exists among states in the definition of joint custody and under what circumstances it will be permitted and denied.
With joint legal custody, both parents retain power to make decisions about their children—although in many states, the particular decisions to be jointly made must be specified in order to preserve the authority.
Likewise, while the definition of joint physical custody varies among states, it is traditionally an arrangement by which a child lives an equal amount of time with each parent. In contrast, joint legal custody may include a less than equal division of time, meeting the required number of overnights as specified by state statute, which allows greater flexibility in creating a joint physical custody schedule that suits a child’s best interests.
Schedule a Consultation with Child Custody Lawyers in Wheaton, MD
Once custody arrangements are in place, they usually remain so until the child reaches maturity. However, child custody in the Wheaton area is always modifiable.
There are cases in which one parent can re-open child custody proceedings if he or she can prove that the other parent is causing emotional or physical harm to the child, or it is no longer in the child’s best interests to maintain the arrangement that is in place.
Andalman & Flynn’s child custody lawyers in Wheaton, MD are experienced in enforcing and modifying existing custody arrangements and have a record of success in family law. Whether on the basis of changes to your current situation, either pending or having occurred over time, or due to an emergency requiring immediate intervention, we can help you resolve your custody claims with an agreement that suits the needs of your children.
When it comes to the livelihood of your children, don’t settle. Choose a law firm that cares and child support lawyers with experience—contact us today to schedule a consultation in the Wheaton area!