Navigating a divorce is challenging, especially when children are involved. One of the most pressing questions for parents is, “Who gets custody of the children before the divorce is finalized?”
Understanding Maryland’s stance on this critical issue is vital. The law will dictate what happens and each parent’s rights in this situation.
If you have questions or need additional legal advice, our Maryland Child Custody attorneys at Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein & Bouquet can help. You can also learn more about this important issue here.
Establishing Temporary Custody
Temporary custody arrangements are often determined before a court issues a final custody order. The goal is to ensure the child’s well-being during the ongoing divorce proceedings.
Best Interests of the Child
The guiding principle in all child custody decisions, including those made during the divorce process, is the “best interests of the child” standard. According to Maryland law, the court evaluates several factors to determine what best serves the child’s emotional, physical, and educational welfare.
Factors Considered for Custody
When determining custody, several factors are considered:
- Parental Character, Reputation, and Finances: The court evaluates each parent’s moral character, community standing, and financial capability to ensure a stable environment for the child.
- Parental Desires and Agreements: The court considers both parents’ wishes and any existing agreements about the child’s custody and upbringing.
- Disruption to Child’s Life: The court assesses the impact of custody decisions on the child’s day-to-day social interactions and educational pursuits.
- Child’s Age, Health, and Gender: A child’s specific needs based on age, overall health, and gender play a crucial role in custody decisions.
- Residences and Visitation Opportunities: The court considers the living situations of both parents and how they affect regular, meaningful interactions with the child.
- Duration of Parental Separation: A child’s time apart from either parent can influence custody decisions, reflecting the existing bonds and attachments.
Each case is unique, and a Maryland divorce attorney can provide insight into how these factors might play out in your situation.
Maryland’s Legal Stance on Child Custody
In Maryland, child custody is divided into two categories:
This refers to the right to make long-term decisions about raising the child. This includes the following decisions:
- Health care
- Religious training
Parents can have joint legal custody, where they collaborate on decisions, or one parent can have sole legal custody.
This relates to where the child lives. Like legal custody, parents can share joint physical custody or one parent can be granted sole physical custody.
How to Secure Temporary Custody in Maryland
If you’re looking to secure temporary custody of your child during the divorce process, follow these steps:
File a Motion
You’ll need to file a motion requesting temporary custody. This motion should be detailed, explaining why you believe it’s in the child’s best interest to be in your care temporarily.
Attend a Hearing
Once the motion is filed, a hearing date is set. During the hearing, both parents present their case. Given the stakes involved, it’s advisable to have a Maryland divorce attorney represent you during this hearing.
The judge will consider the evidence and arguments presented by both parties. They’ll then make a decision based on the child’s best interests. This order will remain in effect until the court issues a final custody order or modifies the temporary order.
Understanding How Child Custody Is Determined During a Divorce
Determining child custody during a pending divorce is a delicate matter. While the legal process might seem daunting, understanding the basics and having the right guidance can make a significant difference.
If you’re in such a situation, consult a Maryland divorce attorney to safeguard your interests and your child’s. They will be well-versed in Maryland laws and can guide you through this challenging period. Remember, the primary focus is always the child’s well-being and Maryland’s legal system strives to uphold this at every stage.
A final custody order will be issued during the divorce process. Your Maryland Family Law attorney can help you understand how to achieve the desired outcome. If you need assistance, contact our office today.