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Maryland Custody Factors

The dynamics that occur in the Maryland Family Law courts can be complex. Maryland Family Court Judges consider many variables when determining child custody. Below are the main factors that are taken into consideration. Most custody litigants need experienced and aggressive counsel to protect their interests:

  • Sincerity of each of the parent's request;
  • Capacity and willingness of the parents to Communicate and to reach shared decisions affecting the child's welfare;
  • Flexibility of each of the parents;
  • Prior voluntary abandonment or surrender of custody of the child;
  • Length of the separation of the parents;
  • Relationship established between the child and each parent;
  • Desire of the natural parents and any Agreements between them;
  • Fitness of the parents;
  • Character and reputation of the parents;
  • Potential for maintaining natural family relations;
  • Extended Family;
  • Preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form a rational judgment;
  • Material opportunities affecting the future life of the child;
  • Age, health, sex, and number of children;
  • Residences of the parents and the opportunity for visitation;
  • Willingness of each of the parents to share custody;
  • Potential disruption of child's social and school life;
  • Geographic proximity of parental homes;
  • Demands of parental employment;
  • Age and number of children;
  • Financial status of parents;
  • Impact on State or Federal Assistance;
  • Benefit to parents.

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Under Maryland law, child support is determined based on the Income Shares Model. Therefore the monthly support amount for the child is proportionally shared between the two parents based on their incomes, past W-2s, and child support worksheets. One parent will then pay the other parent his or her share of child support. Considerations will also be made for existing debt, property settlement, mortgages, other children or any other financial considerations.
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