One of the most difficult issues that can arise during a divorce is deciding on a child custody agreement and having your children abide by it. Divorce is a confusing time for children and full of changes they do not necessarily understand. Typically, mediation is used as a method to get parents to agree on a custody agreement, but oftentimes an agreement is not reached. A child’s preference for custodial parent may sometimes be considered, depending on the child’s age. However, a judge always makes the final determination.
Oftentimes, children do not want to abide by the custody agreement in place for several reasons. The child may be going through an adjustment period and needs to get used to the agreement, or maybe they are not getting their way so they play pawns with the parents to get what they want. Children can absorb their parent’s emotions and may resist switching houses because they think it will upset the parent they are currently with. The best solution for these scenarios is to seek counseling which can help parents devise ways for children to be comfortable in each parent’s home.
A judge will take into consideration many factors and contingencies to fairly determine whom the custodial parent should be, and how much visitation the non-custodial parent receives. Judges will always review a child’s best interest prior to making a custody determination. The goal of the courts is to help simplify what is a very complicated process for the parties involved so everyone can move on with their lives as easily as possible.
Some of the factors may include evaluating each parent’s acumen for parenting duties and their living situation. The parent must be employed and financially sound to provide for the children. A custody agreement can have a significant impact on how a parent is affected by employment demands as the agreement might require them to change their work schedule for their scheduled visitation time with children. It can be tough to balance a work schedule with children’s extracurricular activities and valuable time spent with their friends. A judge will use discretion to assess all these determining factors so that a fair agreement can be reached.
The geographic proximity of the parents’ homes may be considered as well. For example, if parents live nearby to each other, a judge may be more likely to grant equal visitation. If there is a great deal of distance between the parents, it would not make sense to grant visitation to the non-custodial parent mid-week because it would conflict with work and school schedules.
Other considerations can include the children’s age and number of children involved. A judge may look at the child’s relationship with each parent as well. In Maryland, there is no specific age requirement needed for a judge to consider a child’s preference. It is up to the court to determine if the child is mature enough to have a preference in line with their best interest.
Towson Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Simplify Custody Agreements
Divorce is a challenging time for all parties involved, and it is essential to take a child’s best interest into consideration to prevent issues down the line. Call one of our experienced Towson child custody lawyers today to understand your parental rights at 443-589-0150 or contact us online. Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC has over 30 years of experience advocating parental rights and we will get you the visitation agreement you deserve. Our experienced attorneys have two convenient office locations throughout Maryland to best assist you.