The phrase "best interest of the child" is one many Maryland residents recognize. However, this step in the child custody process is not always easy to determine. While a separation alone is hard enough on a family, deciding where a child will spend time can also prove a mountainous task. Whether it is the stage of informing a child of a divorce, working through disagreements with an ex-spouse or reconsidering pre-existing child custody arrangements, parents can turn to a number of resources to make the process smoother.
First, the website for Maryland Courts makes clear that there are a wide variety of factors involved in determining the best interests of the child, including:
- A child's age and sex
- Fitness of the parents
- Residences of parents
- Arrangements between parties
Of course, Maryland Courts' resource notes many other factors that can affect the restructuring of a household. Because each family is unique, parents may need to brainstorm and strategize the best solution for maintaining normalcy during a time that can become particularly stressful on younger family members who do not understand the situation.
Considering all angles in a child custody arrangement is crucial. Verywell Family points out that parents may want to keep a close eye on a child's behavior through the process of determining child custody -- especially when exact plans have yet to be made. The family resource goes on to share that, depending on a child's age, families may go through many ups and downs when planning new schedules. A child's anxiety may magnify a situation, but parents can turn to familiar daily routines to ease the stress. Although one family may require an entirely different plan from the next, a child's best interests -- and overall wellbeing -- play a major role in mending the patches during a stage of life that is difficult for the whole family.