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Baltimore County & Towson Child Custody Lawyer | Physical Custody.


Most Custody Cases Are About Physical Custody

All child custody matters that involve the allocation of parenting time and day-to-day duties are physical. Physical Custody is the right and obligation to make a home for the child and to care for the child daily. Every parent who is awarded parenting time is awarded physical Custody.   P, including motions seeking emergency hearings and the immediate allocation of physical Custody. To guide b custody litigation in Maryland, the Courts have employed new devices to define areas of agreement and disagreement between the parties, such as the Maryland Parenting Plan Tool and the Joint Statement of the Parties Regarding Decision-Making Authority and Parenting Time (Md. Rule 9-204.2) both of which are governed by a subset of filing rules governing restrictive (personal identifier) information. 

"Sole Physical Custody" Does Not Exist 

There is no "sole physical custody" under the law for child custody in Maryland—never use that term. There is such a thing as sole legal Custody when one parent is allocated the authority over all long-ranging decisions affecting the child. In any given year, there might be a thousand physical custody decisions and one legal custody decision, if that. How physical Custody is allocated depends on several factors, including the age of the child or children, maintaining natural family relationships, and parental fitness.

The Court Is Not Rigged In Favor of Men Or Women, But Work Schedules Matter

According to the Annie Casey Foundation, most primary residential parents are mothers. Be that as it may, the law does not have a gender preference, and rulings in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County do not award children to one parent or another based on gender. People lose physical Custody because they do not listen to their lawyers, but they never win or lose Custody because they are mothers. Unlike gender, the parties' work schedules matter, and the Court, when the issue is relevant, will seek to accommodate the schedules.

Shared Custody Was Recently Redefined 

In terms of overnight visitation, there is basically "Shared Custody" or "Not Shared Custody." Shared Custody was recently redefined, effective October 1, 2020, to include all custody arrangements awarding over 25% of the parenting time, which is different from the old requirement of 35%. Shared physical Custody allows children to enjoy meaningful relationships with both parents. On the other hand, shared custody schedules may create confusion and instability. Whether shared physical Custody is awarded in a family law matter depends on the child's best interests and is not analyzed, as both parents have an automatic right to equal time. Implementing shared Custody in matters with a significant distance between the parents is challenging but not impossible.

The Great Importance of the Primary Residential Custodian

The Primary Custodian is the parent who has the child more than 50% (182 overnights) 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 the Child by a Custodial Parent. The primary residential custodian designation is essential for school district purposes. Many parents may negotiate physical Custody to allow the minor child to attend a better school. According to recent statistics, the best elementary schools in Baltimore County include West Towson Elementary School, Pinewood Elementary School, Fort Garrison Elementary School, and Riderwood Elementary School. The best Middle Schools include Ridgely Middle School, Dumbarton Middle School in Rodger's Forge, and Hereford Middle School. The best high schools include Hereford High School, Dulaney High School, George W. Carver School for the Arts & Technology, and Towson High School. The designation of primary custodian often influences which school the child attends. Examples of [Physical Custody] Visitation Access Schedules

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.

Sometimes, parties alternate having the child or children on a "week on"/"week off" basis. For example, some parents prefer a 2-2-3 schedule where one parent gets Mondays and Tuesdays, the other gets Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the weekends alternate. This schedule can work well when the parents live close to one another. During the school year and summer, a child may have 1-2 weeks of uninterrupted access with each parent. Whether uninterrupted access is appropriate depends on what the child will gain from the time. The uninterrupted summer access allows each parent to take the minor child or children on trips. Problems arise when one parent with uninterrupted access does not effectively use the time with the child or children. The language specifying each parent's summer access should be carefully inserted into the court order to prevent both parents from designating the same week, which would be unproductive. Alternating holiday visitation includes Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Call 410-321-4994 To Meet With Towson Child Custody & Family Law Lawyer Amar S. Weisman.

  • Please c994 during business hours to schedule a free consultation t whether you want to keep Amar S. Weisman. Unfortunately, the firm does not accept pro bono clients at this time.
  • You must pay a retainer; see Policy on Fees/Costs to retain legal services and advice.
  • The law firm is located in the heart of Towson near The Circuit Court For Baltimore County, Towson Town Center, Goucher College &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, Cromwell Valley, Edgewood, Essex, Garrison, Glen Arm, Greenspring Valley, Homeland, Hunt Valley, Hydes, Inner Harbor, the Joppa Road Corridor, Kingsville, Long Green, Lutherville, Middle River, Nottingham, Owings Mills, Parkville, Pikesville, Perry Hall, Reisterstown, Riderwood, Rodgers Forge, Rosedale, Ruxton, Sparks-Glencoe, Sparrows Point, Stoneleigh, Timonium, Towson, West Towson, White Hall, White Marsh, Woodcroft, and the York Road corridor. We have also represented out-of-state clients. The law firm does not guarantee the results in any matter.

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