Divorces involving children are rarely a pleasant experience. Once separated, parents frequently disagree about where the children should live and how they should be raised. If this has happened to you, there are a few things you should know about Maryland’s child custody laws. Perhaps most importantly, you should know that Maryland family courts maintain the default position that having both parents actively involved in their children’s lives is beneficial to the development of children after divorce.
Generally, this means that unless there has been some prior history of domestic abuse, a court will attempt to grant joint custody and visitation rights fairly equally between both parents. Naturally, splitting the time that children share between those two households can be fraught with disagreements over access to those children.
It is important for you to remember that although your ex may not have been a good spouse, that does not necessarily mean that he or she cannot be a good parent. Keeping that in mind, child development experts recommend that you attempt to work out some manner of child sharing arrangement with your children’s other parent. Some experts suggest that children of divorce actually benefit from frequent transitions between both households.
One good tactic might be for you to suggest what is sometimes referred to as the “2-2-3” plan to your ex-spouse. The plan basically works like this: on Monday and Tuesday, the children might stay with their father. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, those children would stay with their mother. Finally, their father would have them again Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Under the 2-2-3 plan, the rotation would flip every week to allow each parent two full weekends with the children each month.
It’s important for you to know that this is just one of many strategies you may employ as part of your negotiations with your ex-spouse regarding child custody. It is also important for you to know that retaining an attorney with experience in Maryland’s child custody laws can prove beneficial in helping you to negotiate those terms. For example, an attorney can explain to your ex-spouse why family courts tend to favor child’s custody sharing agreements that are also beneficial to the best interests of the children involved.