Parents who are going through a divorce or separation in Maryland may agree to one of a few different types of child custody arrangements. If the parents do not agree about child custody issues, a judge may order a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the children.
Maryland, like all states, holds the best interests of the child to be the primary concern when making decisions relating to custody. The law also maintains that the natural connection that children have to their biological parents is worthy of preservation when it is consistent with those best interests. However, in cases where the parent has demonstrated themselves to be violent, abusive, habitually criminal or otherwise dangerous to the child, the court may be forced to exercise their prerogative to limit, suspend or revoke parental rights.
Establishing the paternity of a child is crucial to assigning personal and financial responsibilities for the child. For example, if you have been determined to be the father of a child, then you will be legally entitled to petition for custody or visitation rights. Alternatively, you will also be responsible for personally taking care of the child or providing the child's custodial parent with child support.