Child Custody

Maryland Child Custody Attorneys

Rockville, MD, Visitation Rights Lawyers

What's in the Child's Best Interest?

In every child custody determination, the courts are primarily concerned with one overriding factor: the child's best interest. But that guideline can be vague. For example, child psychologists agree that it's best for children to spend time with both parents, but how much time is "best" when one parent is verbally abusive?

Child custody is often the most emotionally trying question a family must resolve. Children are so close to their parents' hearts that it can be difficult to "give in" and strike a compromise. At Avery & Upton, we take pride in our ability to help our clients resolve even the most heated and contentious disputes.

Schedule an appointment with an attorney at Avery & Upton in Rockville, Maryland, today. To reach us, you can call us at 301-576-0950 or toll free at 866-919-9723, or just contact our firm online .

How Do Courts Determine the Child's Best Interest?

Since it's best for a child to grow up spending time with both parents, you might expect that fifty-fifty joint custody arrangements are ideal. That's true in part, but many other factors can influence the court's ruling on child custody and visitation rights, including:

  • Demonstrated Parenting Ability: If one parent has been the "primary" parent of the child, the court will look upon that favorably. On the other hand, the court frowns upon parents who have been neglectful or who have demonstrated consistently poor judgment.
  • Custody Evaluators and Best Interest Attorneys: The court will often require a custody evaluation be done by one of the Custody Evaluators employed by the court. These are social workers with expertise in child development and families. They meet with the parents, the children and other people who know the family's situation and then make a recommendation to the court as to an appropriate custody arrangement. Best Interest Attorneys are attorneys appointed by the court to represent the interests of the child in a custody case. All of the attorneys at Avery & Upton are trained as Best Interest Attorneys.
  • Parental Behavior: If either parent is abusive toward the children, is involved in criminal activity, uses drugs or is mentally unstable, then the court will be hesitant to award him or her any significant amount of parenting time.
  • Location: If one parent lives far away from the child's school, the driving distance can become an impediment to equal visitation. Children whose parents live in different states or countries require a different schedule from those whose parents live just around the corner.

Reaching Child Custody Agreements Through Collaboration

We frequently reach child custody agreements through collaborative practice. In collaborative practice, the parents employ a child specialist, a mental health professional who is training in child development, to act as a neutral to help them reach the best age-appropriate custody arrangement possible.

To schedule an appointment at Avery & Upton, call us at 301-576-0950 or toll free at 301-576-0950 today, or just contact our firm online .