On the other hand, mothers sometimes assume that their custody is a given, when custody is not necessarily automatic. Whether you are a mother afraid of losing custody – or a father hoping to win it – Maryland law protects opportunities for both parents to gain custody of their children.
The biggest misconception about child custody is that mothers have a better chance at winning custody, or that motherhood is grounds for full custody of the child. That is not true! Fathers who want custody of their children legally have the same chance as the mother. There are only two specific situations where mothers are guaranteed custody.
Poor behavior during divorce proceedings that may harm the child.
Abusive Mothers Lose Child Custody
A mother’s abuse and neglect results an automatic loss of child custody in Maryland. The ex’s custody lawyers will try to prove any sign of neglect towards the child so the mother loses custody. It is not just abuse against the child that the court considers during custody cases.
Legally, leaving Maryland with your kids and not telling the other parent with a court-order already in place is considered abduction and an absolute no-no in any custody battle. It does not matter if you are with your children during visitation or it is your turn to have custody. Do not leave the state.
Courts make child custody decisions based on whatever is in “the best interest of the child.” Therefore, it would most likely deny or revoke child custody to any parent if they legally “abducted” their child.
Your ex’s lawyers would also frame this "abduction" in the worst way possible. Even if you ultimately win custody, the incident can still be used against you. A Request to Child Custody Modification would be filed if your ex’s lawyers “set forth special findings,” bringing a new case against you.
Dealing with your ex during divorce while also worrying about losing your child might strain even the calmest of tempers. Take a deep breath, and make sure your child stays out of the situation as much as possible. There are healthy places to relieve stress – just not in front of the kids.
Do not be bitter and petty during the divorce, either, especially when it comes to visitation. Preventing visitation with the other parent could cause you to lose custody. So long as the other parent is not abusive, preventing your kids from seeing dad makes you look back to both your kids and judges.
Finally, your child’s input during both divorce and custody cases may impact the court’s decisions. Keeping your child as free from divorce stress as possible while continuing to love them unconditionally will help convince the court you deserve custody.
After all, your child’s well-being should be most important consideration: To you, to your ex, and to the court.
Why You Should Establish Paternity While Fighting for Child Custody
Mothers can lose custody of their children if fathers prove that they can provide a home that would be in their best interest. Statistically, only 8-14% of fathers win full custody.
However, legal paternity does not guarantee any form of child custody. And, Maryland paternity laws require that once you establish yourself, you are legally responsible for childcare and welfare.
Remember, child custody is decided as what would be “in the best interest” of your child, so proving paternity for the benefit of your child is a father’s ticket to earning custody.
Maryland Courts Change Child Custody
The state of Maryland cares most about providing the best life for your child, regardless of gender.
The court does not take away custody to be mean or petty. Mothers will lose custody when the court believes another guardian will provide better for the child. Fathers will win full or joint custody if they convince the court doing so is in the child’s best interest.
What you should care about most is your child – not getting back at your ex. Prioritizing your kid and treating your family and ex with love and respect will guarantee your place in your child’s life.