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Maryland Child Custody & Maryland Child Support

Maryland courts follow family courts in all states in their strong support for the best interests of children involved in a divorce. Maryland courts will push the parents to cooperatively come to an agreement for continuing to raise their children together after the divorce. If parents cannot amicably agree on the parameters of child custody and support, the court will step in to decide issues of custody, visitation, and support, always with the best interests of the children in mind. The following headings discuss in further detail the laws governing child custody and support in the state of Maryland.

Maryland Child Custody:

Maryland courts determine all custody issues as a function of the best interests of the children. Maryland courts will consider all relevant facts and give the father and mother the same consideration regardless of the child’s sex or age. Either a sole or joint custody decision will be reached. The factors the court will consider include, among others: children’s age, their health, their wishes, the parental roles, and other needs of the children.

Maryland Child Support:

Child support in Maryland is determined in accordance with the Income Shares Model for child support, where each parent’s income is considered in relative proportion, and the support amounts calculated from each parent then help decide which parent must pay the other in order to maintain the correct proportion and provide for the needs of the child.

These guidelines are not always followed, but a decision to follow a different standard will require supportive evidence showing 1) all the factors that affect the parties’ financial obligations differently, and 2) how applying a different standard from the Income Shares Model will more effectively preserve the best interests of the child.

A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities regarding childrearing after a divorce, as well as serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement.