Child Custody and Visitation

Maryland and the District of Columbia recognize two (2) types of custody:  legal custody and physical (or residential) custody. Legal custody encompasses decisions for long range plans impacting a child. These decisions may include a child's educational placement, medical care, and religious observance.  Physical custody refers to the day to day care of a child, including shelter.   The District of Columbia has a statutory presumption that joint custody (custody which is shared by the parents) is in the best interest of a child. Maryland does not share this presumption, although Maryland courts favor children spending significant time with each parent where the facts and circumstances of a case warrant such an arrangement.  ln determining whether a custodial arrangement is in the best interest of a child, numerous factors are considered including but not limited to a parent’s ability to care for the child’s needs, the parent’s character, the potential for maintaining family relationships, the preference of a child of suitable age, and the agreement, if any, of the parties.  Whether custody is an issue due to an impending separation or divorce or you are an unmarried or single parent, our attorneys can assist you in establishing custody, establishing visitation, securing or terminating parental rights, establishing, modifying, or terminating child support, and securing use of a family home for the benefit of a child.  Before entering a custody and access agreement or commencing the litigation process with regard to a child, consult with counsel to learn your potential rights and obligations.

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