Q: What rights does a father have regarding his children when it comes to Maryland child custody and divorce law?
Legally, a father has the same rights as a mother in child custody battles.
It’s a common misconception that when a couple divorces, the wife automatically gets full custody of any children the two might have had together. In reality, judges take numerous factors into consideration when determining child custody and visitation in Maryland.
One important factor that may hurt a father is a term known as “abandonment.” If the mother can show that the father voluntarily moved out of the house while the two were separated and left the children in the mother’s care, that fact can be used to argue that the father abandoned the children and gave up his rights to custody.
While this action can hurt a father’s rights, an experienced Maryland family lawyer can help you fight those charges and regain control of your rights as the children’s father.
Recent laws on these issues were intended to make it easier for fathers to gain joint—or even full—custody of their children. In fact, the number of divorced fathers who have primary physical custody of their children has grown to roughly half in the last few years.
With that said, this is not a battle you should fight on your own. Many judges still naturally favor a mother’s care of the children and it is to your benefit to have a skilled professional fighting on your behalf.
If you are the father in a divorce case, you should enlist the aid of an experienced Maryland family lawyer who will protect your rights as a parent and legitimate guardian of your children. To set up a free appointment, call Nickelsporn & Lundin at 800-875-9700, or fill out our online form.