The dissolution of a marriage or relationship does not mean the end of parental duties; when children are involved, a break-up or divorce can quickly become messy. While everyone generally wants what is best for their children, there can also be egos and emotions to contend with. Your custody lawyer will be able to look at your custody case more objectively and begin assisting you in doing what is best for your child or children.
There are a number of things that the court considers when deciding on the physical custody of a child:
- Character and reputation of the parent
- Fitness of the parent to care for the child or children
- Keeping siblings together
- Parental desire and any previous agreements
- Existing parent/child relationship
- Child’s preference
While this list covers some of the factors, it is not comprehensive. Deciding custody is often a complicated process, especially when the parents are both interested in maintaining primary custody rather than ceding to joint custody. The courts will take all evidence presented into account and may also appoint a child’s attorney to ensure that the child or children’s best interests are being met.
Depending on how custody is awarded, the other parent may be granted visitation rights and access in accordance with the child’s best interests. Either the court will order an access plan or both parties can agree on what works for them and the child.
Legal custody entails the right to make long-term decisions on behalf of the minor child. These issues can include medical, religious, and educational decisions. Whether you are fighting for sole legal or joint, as your custody lawyer, the Law Offices of Karen D. Amos will collaborate with you to create a strong case in your favor.
Best Interest Attorney
When there are complex custody issues in a case, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the child or children and their best interests. Both Karen D. Amos, Esq. and her associate, Miriam H. Sievers, are trained as best interest attorneys to represent children in these circumstances.
Unlike alimony, child support is usually predetermined by a formula that is set by the State of Maryland. If either party is awarded child support, it will follow this formula. How much money the recipient qualifies for depends on both parents’ gross income, number of children they have, and certain expenses (healthcare, etc), and the physical custody schedule. If your combined income exceeds $15,000 per month, the award may be based on additional factors and expenses.
If child support is not being paid in full or at all, the receiving parent can file a motion with the court. This may result in wage garnishment for the parent who owes child support. For back payments or owed child support, the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Agency can seize tax refunds or even move to suspend the individual’s license.
If you are having issues collecting child support or are struggling to come to an agreement with your spouse, the Law Offices of Karen D. Amos can help.
Occasionally, parents may need to assign temporary or permanent guardianship to a next of kin or family friend. As a family law consultant, The Law Offices of Karen D. Amos can also assist in these proceedings. Whether you are seeking full guardianship or informal kinship care, our team has the knowledge and skill to take your case on.
Contact the Law Offices of Karen D. Amos
Karen D. Amos has been a Maryland custody lawyer for 30 years. She and her team are experienced in family law and can support you through the process. To set up a consultation or ask any questions, give us a call at (240) 786-4934 or contact us on the website.