As we progress well into the 21st century, the courts, as well as other governmental institutions, are recognizing the crucial role both parents play in the care and upbringing of children. Parental leave laws and policies are recognizing that child care is a shared endeavor between both parents, whether they are married, partners, separated or divorced. Courts in Maryland have long recognized this important issue, but have been reluctant to apply equal custody in divorce cases.
To some extent this reluctance has been based upon one party’s role as stay at home caregiver. This has been changing at dramatic speed with both parties now electing to work outside the home and care for the children. A shared custody arrangement, which may include week on week off or some other split schedule, are becoming more commonplace, both in negotiated agreements and by court order. Of course the courts will always look to the best interest of the children, but if both parents are in close proximity a share custody arrangement will be seriously considered. It is beneficial if both parents live in the same school district or have easy access to the children’s schools.
If you have questions about custody or access rights to children please feel free to contact us for a free telephone consultation. Always know your rights and obligations so you can make an informed decision regarding custody.