For some of the top family lawyers in Largo MD, child custody is one of the important issues that come up for resolution during divorce proceedings.
Here are answers to some key questions that many couples may find useful.

If one of the spouses moves out and leaves the children with the other, does it negatively impact the moving parent’s chances of getting custody at a later date?

The answer is yes, it can. Top family lawyers in Largo say the moving parent must take the children along as early as possible.

They are of the opinion that if the spouse leaves the kids behind, expecting to have physical custody at a later date, the court will get a wrong signal.

The judge will on most counts presume that the parent looking after the children is a better choice for custody because the children are staying at the same location where they lived as a family and are continuing with the same school.

But here is a caveat.

If at all the parent wants to leave the family home with kids, he or she must file for custody in family court.
If this process is deferred, the other spouse can take advantage of the situation and assert that the kids were taken without consent.

Top family lawyers in largo MD are of the opinion that judges disapprove of the parent who removes the child from home without taking permission from the court.

Is the family law court more inclined to award custody to mothers than to fathers?

In the past, if the child was very young, say 5 years or less of age, the custody was awarded to the mother if the parents divorced.
However, presently, this rule in most states does not hold good.

Here are the reasons why.
Courts now decide custody based on the child’s best interests. Moreover, the award of the custody is also based on the fitness of both parents.
Typically, most divorcing spouses agree on the mother having custody with visitation rights allowed to the father.

Is the custody always awarded to just one of the parents?

The answer is no.

According to top family lawyers in Largo, courts, more often than not, award joint custody to both parents.
In legal parlance, joint custody means children will spend sizeable amounts of time with each parent.
Moreover, in a joint custody arrangement, parents also take decisions with mutual consent on issues like medical and educational questions.

How much visitation is considered realistic and equitable?

If a court awards physical custody to a parent and visitation to the other, the parent with physical custody has the upper hand in matters of visitation.
Yes, the law may state substantial visitation must be allowed, but in reality little visitation period is permitted by the custodial parent.

Family lawyers say the best approach to avoid such situations is to work out a mutually agreed detailed parenting plan that chalks out a comprehensive visitation schedule.
If at all a dispute arises, mediation is not a bad idea at all.
Mediation is a process wherein a neutral person helps the couple to settle a dispute.

Author's Bio: 

The Law Office of Rowena N. Nelson is among the top lawyer firms in Maryland. This Law Firm provides a wide range of legal services including bankruptcy law, criminal law and family law.