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Baltimore County & Towson Child Custody Lawyer | Physical Custody.

Physical Custody Is At the Heart of Most Custody Disputes

If your custody dispute involves allocating time between your household and the other parent, then you have a physical custody issue. At the Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman, we have handled hundreds of cases in Baltimore County where physical custody is either decided by the parties (through a written/oral agreement, i.e. parenting plan) or by the Court. Whether physical custody is determined by a magistrate or judge may depend on the length of trial requested at the settlement conference.

The Definition of Physical Custody Under Maryland Law 

Physical Custody is the right and obligation to make a home for the child and to care for the child on a day-to-day basis. In terms of overnight visitation, there is basically "Shared Custody" or "Not Shared Custody." 

The Technical Meaning of Shared Physical Custody 

Shared Custody exists when both parents have more than 128 overnights. It does not mean a 50/50 division of time. When there are 128 or more overnights, child support is calculated differently.Shared custody allows children to enjoy meaningful relationships with both parents. Shared custody schedules may create confusion and instability.

The Great Importance of the Primary Residential Custodian 

The Primary Custodian is the parent who has the child more than 50% of the time.The primary custodian may claim the Child Exemption on federal income tax returns unless the Primary Custodian completes and signs an IRS 8332 Release of Claim To Exemption for Child by a Custodial Parent

Examples of [Physical Custody] Visitation Access Schedules

Visitation schedules provide access to the non-custodial parent and usually include special provisions for summers and holidays. 

Visitation Schedule #1-One Parent Has Primary Custody

  • Every other weekend from Friday until Sunday. 
  • Non-overnight Wednesday dinner visit. 
  • Alternating holiday visitation on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 
  • Each parent has two weeks of uninterrupted visitation during the summer. 

Visitation Schedule #2-Shared Physical Custody.

  • Every other weekend from Friday until Monday, from when school lets out until school resumes on Monday. 
  • Wednesday overnight visitation from when school lets out until when school resumes.  
  • Alternating holiday visitation on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 
  • Week On/Week Off visitation during the summer.

Visitation Schedule #3- 50/50 Access Schedule. 

  • Parties alternate having the child/children on a "week on"/"week off" basis.
  • School year and summer is the same, except customarily the child sometimes has 1-2 weeks of uninterrupted access with each parent. Whether uninterrupted access is appropriate depends on what the child will actually do during this time period. 
  • The uninterrupted summer access allows each parent to take the minor child or children on trips.
  • Problems arise when one the parent with uninterrupted access does not do anything with the child/children.
  • The language where each parent selects the summer access should be inserted carefully in a manner that does not allow both parents to designate the same week which accomplishes nothing. 
  • Alternating holiday visitation on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Consultation With Towson Divorce & Child Custody Family Lawyer Amar S. Weisman.

If you are seeking client-focused, goal-orientated and personal representation to handle your Baltimore County family law matter, then contact us at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a consultation. Although we do not charge for consultations, you should know the purpose of the consultation is to determine whether Amar S. Weisman and the Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman is a good fit to protect your financial future and/or your parental rights. If you wish to obtain legal services to zealously pursue your interests, you will be required to pay a retainer. The typical retainer is $2,500.00 but the cost of your case depends on its level of conflict and complexity. For more information, please see our Policy on Fees and Costs


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