As you look around the house trying to determine what you should request in your upcoming Maryland divorce settlement, your thoughts turn to your children. Should you request sole custody, or can you and your spouse work out an agreeable form of joint custody?

When determining where the children will live and who will make the major decisions regarding your child, Maryland child custody courts look at a variety of factors. Their main focus is determining what is in the best interest of the child. 

If you and your spouse agree to joint custody in Maryland, here are a few things the judge will want to see:

  • Civility — If you and your spouse can’t even be in the same room without shouting at each other, joint custody likely won’t work. On the other hand, if you can demonstrate to the judge that you are able to agree on important matters regarding your child, this cooperation will go a long way toward being awarded joint custody.
  • Stability — The judge will look at factors such as each parent’s living conditions, work situation, and any other factors that could affect the stability of the child. For example, some joint custody decisions have the child living with one parent during the week and another on the weekend so as to avoid any disruption in the child’s schooling.
  • Quality of Care — Do both parents show love to the child? Are both actively involved in their child’s daily activities and overall wellbeing? This is a crucial factor in the judge’s decision.

When Sole Custody Is the Better Option

Like you, the judge wants what is best for your child. Sole custody might be preferred when it’s obvious that one parent is an incompetent caregiver for reasons such as mental instability, abuse, or a history of abandoning the child. 

For more information on how child custody is determined or to negotiate a joint custody, call the experienced Maryland child custody attorneys of Nickelsporn and Lundin at 1-800-875-9700.

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