Going through a divorce is difficult enough as it is. But when children are involved, the process becomes far more complicated. It’s important that the decisions you make are in the best interests of your children to ease them through this major change—and child custody is one of the most important considerations to make for the future.
The right child custody attorney experienced in Columbia, MD law can provide you with the representation you need to ensure the best possible outcome for your children. At Andalman & Flynn, we will fight to defend your rights so you can focus on providing your sons and daughters with the support they need to start the next chapter of their lives.
Our child custody lawyers serve clients throughout Columbia, MD. To speak with us concerning your specific situation, call 301-563-6685 or fill out an online contact form. Our staff is multi-lingual for your convenience.
How Does Child Custody Get Determined in Columbia, MD?
In the Columbia, 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 of Maryland:
- 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, allowing them to 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 is given visitation rights.
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.
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.
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 Columbia-Area Child Custody Attorneys
Once custody arrangements are in place, they usually remain so until the child reaches maturity. However, child custody is always modifiable for residents of Columbia.
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 serving the Columbia area 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, it’s important you choose an attorney with experience and compassion. With years of experience in Columbia, MD family law, the child custody lawyers at Andalman & Flynn have both. Please contact us to get started with your initial consultation.
We can also offer legal assistance with other aspects of your divorce, including: