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Maryland Child Custody Factors

In Maryland, joint or sole custody arrangements will be awarded to either parent or both with the best interest of the children in mind. There are no standard factors that would be automatically considered by the court, but the normal factors are, but not limited to; age, health, parent’s contributing roles, child’s wishes etc..

The court will examine the following facts when deciding which parent would be entitled to keep the marital home in the property award:

1)      the best interests of any child;

(2)      the interest of each party in continuing: (i)      to use the family use personal property or any part of it, or to occupy or use the family home or any part of it as a dwelling place; or (ii)      to use the family use personal property or any part of it, or to occupy or use the family home or any part of it for the production of income; and

(3)      any hardship imposed on the party whose interest in the family home or family use personal property is infringed on by an order issued under §§ 8-207 through 8-213 of this subtitle. (Maryland Code - Family Law Chapter - Section: 5-203, 8-207, 8-208, 9-101)

In Maryland, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they can’t, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about Maryland child custody in the Maryland state statutes located at: http://mlis.state.md.us/.