Towson Child Custody Lawyer | Legal Custody | Sole Legal Custody
Baltimore County Legal Custody Lawyer
Legal custody decisions, by definition, are limited to long-term decisions. If your parental custody issues concern day-to-day disputes, then you probably have physical custody issues as opposed to legal custody issues. At a Towson Custody Lawyer, Amar S. Weisman helps clients seeking sole legal custody as well as protecting the interests of parents whose legal custody rights are under attack. Every case is different but the common threat under the Maryland Family Law Article is that courts must determine what legal custody arrangements serve the best interests of the minor child or children. The award of sole legal custody is not favored when both parents have a strong track record of making decisions together and have demonstrated respect for the other parent's feedback. In order to make goals for legal custody in your custody/custody modification matter, it is essential to understand the narrow range of decisions that are truly legal custody decisions. Here are a few examples:
- Selection of a school including choosing between public school, private school, religious school or perhaps home schooling. When there is an educational question before the Court, the Court will give weight to any agreements that the parents had prior to separation concerning education. Changing the minor child/children's educational path due to divorce is sometimes hard to justify. On the other hand, the divorce process in Maryland brings financial hardships that may, in some instances, make private school impossible in terms of home economics.
- Enrollment in sports and activities including more "controversial" or risky sports such as football and lacrosse; often parents who have played lacrosse for local Maryland schools like Boys' Latin, Calvert Hall, Gilman, Poly and City have deep set views. At the Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman, we have worked to resolve legal custody athletic decision matters through mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Selection of doctor/dentist and decision-making power over medical procedures and prescription medication. One common medical legal custody question concerns the administration of medication for children who are diagnosed (and perhaps children who are not properly diagnosed) with attention deficit order. The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman helps clients formulate positions regarding the administration of prescription medication in a way that communicates to the court that the decision is the product of serious research and science. It is probably not a great strategy to go to court denying the existence of widely recognized decisions diagnosed at leading Baltimore institutions like Kennedy Kreiger, Sheppard Pratt and Johns Hopkins. As a Towson family law attorney, Amar S. Weisman helps clients make their best arguments to show the court the he or she can be trusted with decision making power in the future.
- Religious training including the selection of a religion or spiritual tradition and the extent the minor child will be raised in the church, synagogue, mosque, temple or other background to which the client is connected. For understandable reasons, including respect for the child, the court will almost never choose one religion over another. There is also an intersection between legal custody and physical custody when it comes to scheduling logistics in a manner that respects the religious upbringing that a parent seeks to impart onto the child.
- Selection of attorneys to represent a child a child who needs an attorney, including children who have claims flowing from a personal injury or being a victim of serious physical abuse.
- The enrollment or removal of a minor child from therapy. Often times parents oppose therapy because they believe the other parent is to blame for the child's problems and, therefore, they view therapy for the child as wasting an opportunity to shift blame. This viewpoint is almost always rejected whenever a domestic litigant attempts to present it to a court. There is a prevailing sense that therapy is good and all children of divorce are damaged. Parents who oppose therapy need to thick seriously about the needs of children in a broken home without focusing on who broke the marriage in the first place. We counsel clients to develop positions that are child-centered and can be placed into a best-interests-of-the-child analysis.
- Decisions concerning discipline including the use of corporal punishment.
- International travel including the right to obtain a passport for the minor child and visas to enter other countries.
The Trend In Favor of Joint Legal Custody
The trend in The Circuit Court for Baltimore County is to award joint legal custody, or, alternatively, to encourage attorneys to agree to joint legal custody. The idea is that children benefit from the insight of two parents who sincerely care about a child.
Sometimes Sole Custody Is Necessary
The award of legal custody to one parent at the exclusion of the other parent is usually the last resort, which follows a complete breakdown in the relationship between the parties. The following circumstances may justify the award of sole legal custody:
- Parental unfitness due to mental disability.
- Geographic distance making sharing information d all but impossible.
- Complete unwillingness by one or both parents to share decision making.
- Parental alienation.
- Physical/verbal/emotional abuse makes communication impossible.
- The child has already been damaged due to other parent's bad decisions.
- Sharing legal custody would disrupt the minor child's school life because academic and extracurricular decisions would be deadlocked.
- One parent too busy with work to engage in parental decision making.
- One parent's desire to engage in joint decision-making is not sincere.
Call To Schedule Consultation With Top Towson Custody Lawyer Amar S. Weisman
Please Call (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The purpose of the consultation is to decide whether you want to hire Amar S. Weisman. To obtain legal services, you must pay a retainer, see Policy on Fees/Costs. The law firm is next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204. We represent clients throughout the Baltimore area including Aberdeen. Abingdon, Bel Air, Bowleys Quarters, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Edgewood, Essex, Lutherville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Perry Hall, Rosedale, Sparrows Point, Timonium, Towson, Westminster and White Marsh.