It is the rule here in Maryland, USA that when a couple is not married or is divorced, it is important to determine the child custody. This is simply to make life easier for the kid to understand who will have more control over him/her. In most cases, it is that one parent who will take all the decisions related to the kid. While in many other cases, you will find the parents making the decisions jointly.
Courts will take decisions that best fit the child’s interest. They will look at the financial circumstances of both the parents, the child’s needs, and many other factors and then decide what will be the best for the child’s future. So, if you are looking to fight for your child’s custody then you can take the help of a good family law attorney.
The law offices of Thomas Stahl have around 13 years of experience in representing family law in Maryland. You can get in touch with them through online consultation too. Get to know more about them on their Facebook profile.
Let us get into details about the 4 different types of custody that you need to know:
- Legal Custody: When a parent gets legal custody, he will be entirely responsible for the child’s welfare on behalf of the kid. This includes everything like the:
- Which religion the child will follow?
- How the child will be disciplined?
- Which school the child will go to?
- What kind of medical care the child will get?
- Physical custody: Here the single parent will be responsible for the kid. The kid will be staying with that parent and his needs will be fulfilled by him/her only. The other parent would be having just the visitation rights i.e., seeing the child on the specifically scheduled days like the weekends or holidays.
- Sole custody: This is when one parent has a complete right over the kids and the one cannot make any decisions related to the kid. However, visitation rights will still be there with the other parent. You will find 3 different types of sole custody:
- Sole-legal custody: One parent will only have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the kid.
- Sole physical custody: One parent will have all the authority to provide the kid with shelter and everyday needs
- Sole legal & Physical custody: One parent will have all the decision-making authority, and provide shelter and everyday needs.
- Joint custody: Here both the parents will have equal rights on the kids, which will include decision making, choices on his education, religion, medical needs, etc. In very rare situations, parents would agree for getting into a joint custody agreement. However, joint custody will also vary from family to family and it is of 3 different types:
- Joint legal custody: This is where both the parents will take a joint decision on anything related to the kid. Even when the kid is living with one parent.
- Joint Physical custody: Where the kid will get a chance to live with each parent for a separate period, i.e., 35% of his time will be spent with each parent in a year.
- Joint legal & Physical custody: Here both the parents will be authorized to take a joint decision whether it is related to his/her shelter or any specific needs.
You will need a good lawyer who is an expert on family laws to represent your case.