Towson Child Custody Lawyer | Legal Custody | Sole Legal Custody
Baltimore County Legal Custody Lawyer
Amar S. Weisman has the experience, aptitude, and track record of helping mothers and fathers exercise their parental right and obligation to make long-term decisions regarding how their children will be educated, disciplined, schooled, and treated by health care professionals. In addition, he understands the law and how it is applied by Maryland Courts, such as the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, as a matter of custom and practice.
Before Litigation, Before Negotiation Comes Understanding
Most parents litigating legal Custody and some attorneys and the occasional (Non-Baltimore County!) judge fail to appreciate what legal Custody is, even though the law is straightforward:
- Legal Custody includes Long-Term, Far-Reaching Educational Decisions
- Legal Custody includes long-Term Far-Reaching Religious Decisions
- Legal Custody has long-Term, Far-Reaching Educational Decisions
- Legal Custody includes long-Term Far-Reaching Disciplinary Decisions
- Legal Custody includes long-Term Far-Reaching Medical Decisions
- Legal Custody excludes Short-Term Educational Decisions
- Legal Custody excludes Short-Term Medical Decisions
- Legal Custody excludes Short-Term Disciplinary Decisions]
- Legal Custody excludes Short-Term Religious Decisions
Examples of Legal Custody Decisions
- Whether the child will get that blood transfusion
- Whether the child will go to military school or Montessori
- Whether the child will be Christian or Muslim
- Whether the child will be prescribed birth control
- Whether the child will get firearms training
- Whether the child will be allowed to get a driver's license
More In-Depth Exploration of the Line Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody:
- Selection of a school, including choosing between public school, private school, religious school, or perhaps homeschooling. When there is an educational question before the Court, the Court will give weight to any agreements the parents had before 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 sometimes 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 medication administration for children diagnosed (and perhaps not adequately diagnosed) with attention deficit order. The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman help 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. However, as a Towson family law attorney, Amar S. Weisman helps clients make their best arguments to show the Court that he or they can be trusted with decision-making power in the future.
- Religious training includes the selection of a religion or spiritual tradition and the extent the minor child will be raised in the church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or another background to which the client is connected. For understandable reasons, including respect for the child, the Court will almosrarelyse one religion over another. There is also an intersection between legal and physical Custody regarding scheduling logistics in a manner that respects the religious upbringing that a parent seeks to impart to the child.
- Selection of attorneys to represent a child who needs an attorney, including children with claims from a personal injury or being a victim of severe physical abuse.
- The enrollment or removal of a minor child from therapy. Often, parents oppose treatment because they believe the other parent is to blame for the child's problems; 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 treatment need to think 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 child-centered positions that can be placed into a best-interests-of-the-child analysis.
- Decisions concerning discipline, including the use of corporal punishment.
- International travel includes 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 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 makes 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 parents' bad decisions.
- Sharing legal Custody would disrupt the minor child's school life because academic and extracurricular decisions would be deadlocked.
- One parent is too busy with work to engage in parental decision-making.
- One parent's desire to engage in joint decision-making is not sincere.
Call 410-321-4994 To Meet With Towson Child Custody & Family Law Lawyer Amar S. Weisman.
Please Call (410) 321-4994 during business hours to schedule a free consultation t whether you want to retain Amar S. Weisman. The firm does not accept pro bono clients at this time. To h legal services and advice, you must pay a retainer, See Policy on Fees/Costs. The law firm is located in the heart of Towson near The Circuit Court For Baltimore County, Towson Town Center, Goucher College, and Towson University, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road (MD-146), Second Floor Towson, MD 21204. We represent clients throughout the Baltimore area, including Aberdeen, Abingdon, Baldwin, Bel Air, Bowleys Quarters, Brooklandville, Carney, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Edgewood, Essex, Garrison, Glen Arm, Greenspring Valley, Homeland, Hunt Valley, Hydes, the Joppa Road Corridor, Kingsville, Long Green, Lutherville, Middle River, Nottingham, Owings Mills, Parkville, Pikesville, Perry Hall, Reisterstown, Riderwood, Rodgers Forge, Rosedale, Ruxton, Sparks, Sparrows Point, Stoneleigh, Timonium, Towson, West Towson, White Hall, White Marsh, and the York Road corridor. We have also represented s out-of-state clients. The law firm does not guarantee the results in any matter.