The court may order legal and physical custody in a number of ways. Physical custody involves spending time with the child and making decisions about the child's everyday needs. Sole Custody - A person may be granted sole legal custody, sole physical custody, or both. Split Custody of 2 or more children - Split custody means that one parent has sole custody of some of the children, and the other parent has sole custody of the remaining children.
Split custody is easiest to describe in a situation where there are two children, and each parent obtains full physical custody over one child. Some of the factors that may point to this result are ages of the children and their wishes. Generally, the courts do not favor split custody. Temporary Custody - Temporary custody is also called pendente lite , meaning "pending the litigation".
To formalize custody before you begin litigation, you will need to file for temporary court ordered custody. Temporary custody will be based on the "best interests" of the child standard. It is not an "initial" award of custody. Instead it is temporary custody while you wait for the court to hold a hearing. To be awarded temporary custody you must file a request for hearing and an Order for Temporary Custody and Support along with your Complaint for Custody or Divorce.
Jurisdiction is like an imaginary fence that divides legal cases into 2 categories. On one side of the fence are the cases that a certain court can decide. On the other side of the fence are the cases that the court is not allowed to hear. Usually "jurisdiction" is the reason one court must allow another court to hear the case.
There are two types of jurisdiction: personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction. The court must have both types of jurisdiction to hear a case.
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Personal jurisdiction, the power to require a person to appear in court, is discussed in the Service of Process section of this web site. In Maryland, subject matter jurisdiction to hear custody and visitation cases is with the Circuit Courts. If you have a custody case in Maryland, the Circuit Court is where the case will be filed and heard by a judge or magistrate. They look at several factors. No single factor is most important. This is a list of some, but not all, of the factors, that courts will consider.
Taylor , Md. Parents can agree on some combination of shared physical and joint legal custody.
One example of this is when there is one residence for the child, and the parents live with the child there on a rotating basis. The court looks very closely at Joint Custody agreements. The most important factor to Joint Legal Custody and Shared Physical Custody is the ability of the parents to talk about and reach joint decisions that affect the child's welfare. If parents are constantly fighting over religion or school, the court may strike down their agreement. Additionally, the sincerity of the parties involved is important. The court will want to make sure that joint custody isn't being traded for concessions on other points.
Another consideration is whether the grant of joint custody will affect any state or federal assistance programs. Be sure to check with your contact at any social service agencies before entering into an agreement or you may risk losing your benefits. This list is not meant to be complete, and the court will hear anything that they believe to be relevant.
If you and the other parent have already come to a fair agreement on the custody and visitation issue, you may want to write your own stipulation and consent order. A stipulation is a statement describing the agreement that you have reached. This means that the court can enforce the agreement in the future. If you choose to do this, you and the other parent should be as specific as you can to avoid future conflicts.
You should ask yourself questions like these:.
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What you might think you can figure out as you go along could become a bitter disagreement later. The stipulations should state everything that you have agreed upon. You should not rely on verbal promises. If you both agreed on it, write it down no matter how trivial it may seem now.
Additionally, you should be sure to read this full section before proceeding to avoid having your stipulation and consent order ignored by the court or giving away rights of which you were unaware. For the father to claim rights to the child including rights to custody or visitation , paternity must be admitted or established in court. For more information on unmarried people who live together, see the section on Unmarried Cohabitants.
Once paternity is established, neither mother nor father is given a preference based solely on their gender. The Domestic Relations forms do not cover paternity actions. You can read more about establishing paternity in the section on Paternity. Maryland courts will generally not award custody or unsupervised visitation to parents who have been found guilty of first or second degree murder of:. If you and your spouse are having trouble reaching an agreement, you should consider mediation.
A mediator specializes in helping people reach an agreement that is fair and will last. The sessions are confidential. A mediator's role may be limited to custody. You may also ask to cover other issues such as marital property if you choose. Mediation is not appropriate in cases where there is a genuine issue of physical or sexual abuse of the child or one of the parties. It is also important to get a legal advisor for this process. The mediator's role is not to take sides, but to bring the two sides together.
Read the rule: Md. Rule People go into courthouses everyday telling clerks that the parent has not returned the child at the scheduled time following visitation, and they don't know what to do. For children under 16 years old, if the abducting parent remained within the state, it can be a misdemeanor. If the abducting parent crosses the state line, it can be a felony. If the child has actually been stolen by the other parent, you should report this to your local police department immediately. The FBI can be called in to find the fugitive parent and the child as well.
The only exception to this rule is when the child is in clear and present danger the victim of abuse or abandonment requiring the non-custodial parent to save them. The non-custodial parent must be ready to prove this clear and present danger, and they are required by Maryland law to file a petition within 96 hours.
In that event, both parents will need a lawyer. The court follows the notion of, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it. This is not as simple as it may seem. You will have to show that your home will be better than the home of the custodial parent not just as good.
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- What is a Pendente Lite Hearing? - Maryland Divorce Source?
To do this you must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that it is in the child's best interests to make the change you are proposing. If the two homes are thought to be equal, then custody will stay as it is. You would not be required to show a substantial change in circumstances to have temporary custody changed in the permanent custody order. Read the Law: Md. Neuwiller , Md. The court that made the original custody and visitation order retains jurisdiction to decide modification unless the parties and child no longer have close ties to the court and the court surrenders its jurisdiction.
However, the court with original jurisdiction may refuse to hear the custody case if a child has been wrongfully taken from another state or taken without the consent of the person entitled to custody. Usually the parent with custody can claim the exemption for the child.
What can I expect to happen in my pendente lite hearing?
However, should you live in a state that does recognize common law marriage and meet the threshold for common law marriage in that state before moving to Maryland, Maryland would recognize your common law marriage from the state you previously resided. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
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