If you are going through a divorce and you have children, one of the most pressing matters that you will find yourself dealing with is child custody. If you are like most parents, you probably are hoping that you are awarded fair custody and that you can reach an agreement that is in the best interest of your child. With a little preparation, you can increase the chances of this happening. Going into a child custody case prepared helps you obtain the outcome that is in your favor and also gives you the advantage of knowing what to expect.
Below are a few ways you can prepare yourself if you are in the initial stages of a child custody matter.
- The first thing you want to do is hire an attorney that is an experienced Maryland child custody lawyer. At Barkley & Kennedy, our attorneys understand how stressful a child custody case will be and we are prepared to assist you and answer any questions you have. We get to know our clients by listening to their concerns and issues. Instead of going in with uncertainties and a lack of support, why not place your trust with lawyers who have helped numerous clients through their contested custody proceedings.
- Familiarize yourself with Maryland’s child custody laws. Your attorneys will be beneficial as they are aware of the law governing resolution of contested custody proceedings and the numerous factors that the court will consider in resolving the dispute..
- Know what the courts are going to consider in terms of how custody is awarded. All child custody cases will be resolved on the best interests of the child standard but, given the numerous factors the court will consider, this vague standard won’t fully prepare a parent for presenting the proper testimony and evidence. . While you might be under the impression that living with you is what is best for your children, the key is preparing, organizing and presenting your case in a fashion that will lead the court to this conclusion. Some or all of the following factors may be analyzed by the court in reaching a decision based upon the best interests of the child:
- Fitness of the parents
- Character and reputation of the parents
- The requests and sincerity of the parents
- Agreements of the parents
- The child’s desires and the impact on the child’s social and school life
- Material advantages of each parent and the ability to maintain an appropriate home
- Willingness of the parents to share custody
- The desire and ability of the parents to communicate with each other
- Geographic proximity of the parents
- Potential of each parent for maintaining the child’s relationships with family members
- Age, health, and sex of the child and of other children in each household
- Demands of employment or other obligations of each parent
- The child’s relationship with each parent and the length of any separation from either parent and any abandonment by a parent
- Impact on state and federal assistance
[Source: Maryland Courts].
- At the direction of an attorney you need to gather all the essential paperwork needed for your case. Every case is going to be different as families are faced with differing circumstances. The paperwork you need might not be the same as what another couple might be required to fill out. You may need the direction of an attorney as to how to be a better parent, so preparation for a custody dispute can never commence too soon. To ensure that you have all the documentation you need, it is best that you allow your child custody attorney to gather it all for you and review it for accuracy as early as possible. If you would like to review some of the forms the Maryland Courts generally use for custody cases, you can click here now to do so.
There are plenty of other ways you can prepare yourself for your custody case. If you are interested in hiring a Rockville, MD child custody attorney to help, feel free to contact Barkley & Kennedy so we can schedule an initial consultation.
Barkley & Kennedy is located at:
51 Monroe Street, #1407
Rockville, MD 20850