Your children’s best interests are always a priority in life. This issue may be of primary concern if you are heading to a Maryland family court for a divorce. The judge overseeing your case will issue a child custody order based on what the court has determined is best for your kids in your family’s particular circumstances.
In most cases, if there are no extenuating issues that would compel a family court judge to think otherwise, the court believes that children fare best in divorce when they are cared for in a shared custody arrangement between both parents. However, there are several reasons why the judge may grant a request for sole custody. If you file a petition to make such a request, you must convince the court that there is a legitimate reason why it would serve your children’s best interests.
Does your ex have a substance abuse problem?
If you are one of the many Maryland spouses who filed for divorce after years of marital problems spurred mainly by your partner’s abuse of alcohol or drugs, you might also be among the concerned parents who seek sole child custody during divorce proceedings. This issue often influences the court’s decision to place children in the custody of one parent, while restricting or prohibiting the visitation privileges of the other.
Is your co-parent afflicted with a mental illness?
If your ex has been diagnosed with a mental illness, such as bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia or chronic depression, the court may determine that he or she is currently unfit for custody. Sometimes, conditions are temporary and contingent upon a parent entering a rehabilitation program or receiving medical treatment before the restoration of custody privileges.
In other cases, the court may grant one parent sole physical and legal custody, indefinitely. In such a case, the court will have determined that the other parent is unfit or that granting custody would place children at risk.
Living a far distance away from a co-parent
If you will be relocating to another state after finalizing your divorce, it might make more sense to seek sole custody of your children. If you were to live a close distance from your ex, it wouldn’t be a problem for your kids to travel back and forth between households. However, if you live in another state, such an arrangement might not be practical.
Additional reasons why the court awards custody to one parent over another
There are numerous other reasons that might compel a Maryland family court judge to grant you sole child custody in a divorce. In fact, there are even cases where parents might share legal custody but only one parent has physical custody or vice versa. The court makes decisions in accordance with state guidelines and based on the merits of each case.
If you encounter a child custody issue that you do not feel equipped to resolve on your own, you may ask the court to intervene to make decisions on your behalf.