Custody Evaluations in Maryland

The courts in Maryland use a number of factors in determining the ultimate custodial parent in a contested custody dispute. The factors, of which the famous case of Montgomery County Dept. of Social Services v. Sanders includes but are not always limited to the following:

1) fitness of the parents,
2) character and reputation of the parties
3) desire of the natural parents and agreements between the parties
4) potentiality of maintaining natural family relations,
5) preference of the child,
6) material opportunities affecting the future life of the child,
7) age, health and sex of the child
8) residences of parents and opportunity for visitation,
9) length of separation from the natural parents,
10) prior voluntary abandonment or surrender,

While the court considers all the above factors, it will generally not weigh any one to the exclusion of all others. Maryland courts will also consider the truthfulness and attitude of the parties during the trial. Honesty and sincerity play a role in the courts determination of the proper custodial parent. The court does not expect a perfect parent. It is best to advise your attorney of issues you may have, so that he or she can present them in a light most favorable you and not as a surprise from the opposing side. The court will examine the totality of the situation in the alternative environments and avoid focusing on any single factor. Need a lawyer for a child custody case in Annapolis or Anne Arundel County? Call today!

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