If you are a parent currently navigating child custody court battles in Maryland, it is likely that you have heard a great deal about what is deemed to be in the best interests of the child. This kind of terminology can be confusing to many parents. However, it is important to understand, because it can heavily influence how the child custody courts make decisions.
What may or may not be in the child’s best interests can have the potential to be a subjective topic. It is likely that both parents think that they have the best interests of the child in mind, but they may still disagree on many different aspects of their kid’s upbringing and custody arrangements. When evaluating what arrangements are in the child’s best interests, the child custody courts in Maryland take into account the following factors.
The age of the child
Children of different ages and maturity levels can respond differently to certain routines. This means that what is in the best interests of a 12-year-old may not be in the best interests of a 2-year-old, for example.
How consistency for the child can be maintained
Wherever possible, the courts would like to maintain some level of consistency for the child. For example, if one of the children’s parents lives out of state but is in Maryland for a period of three months, the courts may not want the child to spend every weekend with that parent during the three months. This is because the child may become accustomed to such a routine, and then possibly feel abandoned when this routine abruptly stops.
The safety of the child
Above everything, the child custody courts want to ensure that all children are kept safe, both physically and emotionally. This means that any accusation of violence, neglect, or drug and alcohol abuse will be taken very seriously.
As a parent going through a custody battle, you should make sure that you try and keep focused on attaining an arrangement that is truly in the best interests of your child’s healthy development. You can do this through careful reflection and taking appropriate action.