Child Custody and Visitation
Custody matters take into consideration various facets of the child’s life and future once custody is resolved. If both parents are living, competent, and not found to be unfit by the court of law, they are entitled to the custody of their minor children. The overriding legal concern is the best interest and welfare of the child and not necessarily preference of one parent over the other. In the eyes of the law both parents have a duty to support and be involved in the decision-making process of their minor children.
The best interest of the child standard requires the court to consider other factors that could affect the child’s overall wellbeing such as the fitness of the parent, desire of natural parents, maintenance of family relations, child’s preference (if old enough*), environment of the home, parenting abilities, age, health, school status, length of separation, etc.
As it relates to visitation, there is a presumption that a child’s welfare is best served in the care and custody of their natural parents. However, under exceptional circumstances, the court may award visitation to a private third party over the objection of the parent and consider the best interest of the child factors.
In making the best determination of how these factors align with your specific Maryland child custody and or visitation matter in Prince George’s or Montgomery County, you need a custody attorney who can keep your goals at the front line. Let the Murphy Law Firm help you file for, amend, or modify existing custody agreements.