Joint Child Custody in MD
Compassionate Annapolis Family Lawyer
child custody arrangement that works for both you, your ex-spouse and your children can be difficult,
especially if you are unable to agree. Under Maryland law, the family
court judge determines child custody based on what is in the best interests
of the child. When a judge determines both parents have stable living
environments, then a joint custody agreement can be arranged.
Types of Joint Custody
Joint custody can be broken down into three different subcategories including,
joint legal custody, joint physical custody and a combination of both.
1. Joint Legal Custody: When a judge concludes both parents have joint legal custody, this gives
both parents the legal right to make decisions regarding how their children
should be raised. This could include the type of medical attention and
health care, religious upbringing, schools the children attend and extracurricular
2. Joint Physical Custody: If the family courts decide joint physical custody is best for the children,
then both parents will agree on how the children will split their time.
In this type of arrangement, the children live in two houses and spend
at least 35% of their time with one parent.
3. Combination: In many cases, a combination of joint legal and joint physical custody
is determined to be the best interests of the child. This could mean that
one parent has sole physical custody while
both parents have joint legal custody of the children.
How old does my child have to be to have a say in their custody decision?
Family courts will always take into the account the desires of older children
to live with a particular parent. Legally, at age 16 children may petition
the court on their own to make a change in custody.
Child Support & Joint Custody
When joint custody is awarded, it does not preclude child support from
also being granted to a parent who may be in need. When a child is considered
to have two custodial parents, child support is determined based on which
parent has the higher annual income. The family courts may also consider
factors such as basic living expenses, educational expenses, health care
and any special needs a child may have.
Get the Legal Guidance You Need! Call (410) 593-0040
Our Annapolis family attorney has been serving the community for more than
30 years. At Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis, our goal is provide
parents with the dedicated, and compassionate legal advocacy they need,
to reach a mutual child custody resolution.
Choose an attorney who works to protect your parental rights. Schedule your
free consultation today!