Child Custody Dedicated to Obtaining the Best Possible Outcome


Maryland Child Custody Attorney Representing Parents in Custody Disputescustody dispute in Maryland

At Matthew Penick Law, we have extensive experience handling all types of child custody disputes in Queen Anne's County family court. Whether your custody dispute arises during your divorce, after your divorce, or with the unmarried parent of your child, our family law attorney knows how to help you move forward.

We understand the stress involved for parents in any child custody matter. We know that these cases can threaten your relationship with your child and affect your family for years to come. Matthew Penick will always fight to protect your parental rights and your child’s best interests in Queen Anne's County family court. If you need help with child custody in Maryland, our dedicated lawyers are here to help.

Involved in a child custody dispute? Request a free consultation with an experienced child custody attorney in Maryland by calling Matthew Penick Law at (410) 618-0863 or contacting us online.

What are the Different Types of Child Custody in Maryland?

As in most states, child custody in Maryland is divided into two categories:

  • Legal custody, in which a parent is responsible for making basic life decisions concerning a child’s education, religion, health care, and other important matters
  • Physical custody, which determines with whom the child will live and includes day-to-day decisions

Can a Court Give a Parent Joint Custody of a Child in Maryland?

Both legal and physical child custody in Maryland may be awarded jointly or solely. Thus, both parents may have joint legal custody while only one has physical custody or vice versa. Joint physical custody may also not translate to a completely 50-50 arrangement.

How to File for Custody in MD

To file for child custody in Maryland, follow these general steps to help navigate the process:

  1. Gather Information.

    • Research the different types of custody arrangements, factors considered by the court, and the best interests of the child standard. This can help you determine which path to take with your Queen Anne's County custody attorney.

  2. Consult with an Attorney.

    • Seek legal advice from an experienced child custody lawyer in Maryland. A custody lawyer from Matthew Penick Law can provide guidance, assess your situation, and help you understand your rights and options.

  3. Prepare Necessary Documents.

    • Collect the required documents, which may include:

      • The child's birth certificate

      • Any existing court orders

      • Evidence of parental fitness

      • Any relevant communication or documentation related to the child's well-being

  4. File the Petition.

    • Prepare the necessary paperwork, typically a Petition for Child Custody, and file it with the appropriate family court in the county where the child resides. Pay the required filing fees and retain copies of all filed documents.

  5. Serve the Other Party

    • Arrange for proper service of the filed petition to the other parent or relevant parties involved. This ensures they are officially notified of the custody proceedings.

  6. Attend Court Hearings

    • Attend all scheduled court hearings related to your child custody case. Present your case, provide supporting evidence, and express your desired custody arrangement. Be prepared to answer any questions the court may have.

It's crucial to consult with an experienced child custody attorney in Maryland throughout the process. Our Queen Anne's County custody lawyer can provide personalized advice, represent your interests, and help navigate the complexities of the legal system to ensure the best outcome for you and your child.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Maryland?

Generally, Maryland courts prefer to award joint custody to make sure the child enjoys an ongoing relationship with both parents. However, if a parent is deemed unfit, he or she will not be awarded custody. Unfitness is generally based on a parent’s history of domestic violence, child abuse, or substance abuse.

Maryland courts do not favor mothers over fathers when it comes to custody. Their goal is to award custody based on what is best for the child. Furthermore, custody arrangements can be modified by the courts at later times when it is deemed appropriate and in a child’s best interests.

Child Custody Mistakes to Avoid

During a child custody dispute, it is important that you follow simple procedures to avoid jeopardizing you case:

  • Speaking negatively about your spouse: The situation between you and your spouse is undoubtedly tense and hostile, but you should still watch what you say, especially in front of your children. The things you say about your spouse might come back to haunt you in court and a judge might perceive this as the sign of a bad temper or uncooperative nature.
  • Using your children as messengers: Although you want to deal with your spouse as little as possible, you should still deliver your own messages instead of putting your children in an uncomfortable situation. A judge will not look favorably upon a parent who puts their children in the middle of a fight. Even if the message seems relatively innocuous to you, the act of using your children as a go-between is still damaging to their general well-being.
  • Refusing to cooperate: No one expects you to readily agree to everything in the midst of a child custody dispute, but you should be willing to compromise and cooperate. If a judge believes you are being unreasonable or purposefully obstinate, it will harm your chances of obtaining child custody.
  • Not being involved enough: If you want custody of your children, you cannot be a flakey co-parent. Make sure you pick them up and drop them off on time, attend their afterschool activities, help them with their homework, and show an interest in being part of their lives. It probably sounds like common sense, but with so much happening in your life, it is easy to let some things fall by the wayside.
  • Remaining active on social media: Continuing to use social media is a major gamble for anyone going through a divorce. Your posts might seem harmless to you, but keep in mind that anything can be damaging when taken out of context. If you show bad judgment on social media, a judge might factor this into the child custody order.

Child Custody Cases in Queen Anne's County Family Court

At Matthew Penick Law, our child custody experience includes court appointments for the representation of children in contested custody cases. These Queen Anne's County family court appointments require specific training and experience. We have represented children of all ages and from all walks of life in Queen Anne's County family court.

In contested custody and other matters, we try to settle outside of court to prevent protracted and contentious litigation. However, as a trial lawyer, our attorney is prepared to litigate your case in Queen Anne's County family court when necessary.

Why Choose Our Experienced Maryland Child Custody Lawyer?

Matthew is particularly experienced at handling child custody cases. In fact, he receives appointments by several local courts to represent children in contested custody cases. This appointment requires distinct training and experience. Our Maryland child custody attorney is dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of children in every custody case he handles.

Learn more about your custody case and how we can help. Contact our Queen Anne’s County family court child custody lawyer at our Kent Island office by calling (410) 618-0863 today!


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