Factors Used to Determine Child Custody in Maryland
Child custody is determined based on a variety of different factors. It is important for divorcing parents concerned about child custody to know these factors and to be familiar with how the child custody process works.
Child custody factors
Child custody decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. To determine what is best for the child, a series of factors are evaluated. A number of child custody factors may be considered when determining child custody in Maryland including:
- The fitness of the parents;
- The character and reputation of the parents;
- Wishes of the parents;
- Preference of the child;
- The age, health and sex of the child;
- Locations of the parents’ residences, geographic proximity and opportunities for visitation;
- The capacity of the parents to communicate and reach shared decisions that impact the child’s welfare;
- The relationship between the child and each of its parents;
- Any potential disruption of the child’s social life and schooling;
- The employment demands of the parents;
- The financial situation of each of the parents; and
- Other factors as relevant.
These factors are used to guide child custody decisions. They help the family law court and divorcing parents determine who will have physical custody of the child, if the parents will share custody and who will have legal custody of the child. The child custody process can be understandably emotional for parents which is why they should understand how these factors are used to develop a child custody plan that is in the best interests of the child.