WHAT ARE A FATHER’S RIGHTS REGARDING CHILD CUSTODY? – Little one Custody Authorized Blogs Posted by Gerard F. Miles

The special bond between a parent and child should not be broken because of a divorce, a break-up in a illegitimate relationship, or because of custody issues. Maryland laws are in place to protect parent-child relationships when a couple breaks up due to something or when custody issues arise. Although mothers are often the primary caregivers after a divorce or separation, the role of a father in the parent-child relationship is vital. Studies show that children whose fathers are involved in their lives tend to do better academically and socially.

Having an involved father after a divorce or separation should be a primary goal. When a couple divorces, a judge will decide who has custody of the child. Even if the parents agree on who will have custody, a judge must give final custody. There are no set rules for who automatically receives custody of a child. The standard in Maryland and most other states is what is in the best interests of the child. The best way to better understand a father’s rights in relation to custody is to consult an attorney.

Do I have to establish paternity in Maryland?
Establishing paternity is the first step in determining a father’s rights in Maryland. When a married couple has a child, state law automatically assumes that the mother and her husband are the child’s parents. If an unmarried couple has a child together, state law assumes that the mother is the natural and legal mother, but the child could miss out on a father-child relationship with no established paternity.

Maryland paternity establishment is the legal process by which a biological father also becomes the legal father of the child. The couple can sign an ancestry affidavit to establish paternity. This is a voluntary process and the easiest method. Once the affidavit is signed and certified it becomes a legally binding document that may be difficult to turn around in the future. Therefore, both people need to be one hundred percent sure that they have fatherhood. Couples who are unsure of paternity can exercise their right to have DNA testing and allow the court to order the tests. After completing the tests, the couple can always settle down or go to court. When they go to court, a judge uses DNA test results and other evidence to determine the birth and legal father of the child.

The couple can also go to court to determine paternity. This path can be taken when a couple is not cooperative or when the father denies or questions paternity. The process begins when one of the parents or an attorney from the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) takes a paternity lawsuit to court. The CSEA may decide to bring a paternity lawsuit to court if the mother or child is receiving government funding, as both parents must fund the child.

Why establish paternity?
Formally establishing paternity when a couple is not married or when the father’s identity is in question is always in the best interests of the child. The benefits include:

Fulfillment of child support obligations.
Father will have rights under the law.
Parents can work together to raise the child.
The child can develop relationships with both parents.
A couple should turn to a custody lawyer for advice when it comes to paternity.

What are the different types of custody?
Custody can be held by both parents jointly or by just one parent. Custody provides the right to make important life decisions for the child, such as: B. Medical care, religious affiliation and education. When there is joint custody, the parents participate in this type of decision-making.

Custody can either be shared or alone. Sole custody exists when one parent has custody of the child. The other parent who is not caring for them is almost always granted visiting rights. During this time they have custody of the child. When custody is shared, both parents receive at least 128 overnight visits, which is 35 percent of the year. Both must also contribute to the child’s expense.

Does a parent still have to pay child benefit if they share custody?
A judge can grant child support paid by one parent even if custody is shared. Child support in Maryland is determined by a state-established mathematical calculation. The following factors can determine the amount of child support:

Who has custody.
The number of nights each parent has.
Gross income of each parent.
Childcare, health insurance, and other medical expenses.
What if the parents cannot agree on a joint custody plan?
If the parents cannot agree on visits, the court will decide on a common parenting schedule in the best interests of the child. A parent and their attorney can request a change in custody at any time. However, you must provide evidence of both significant changes in the circumstances of one or both parents and demonstrate that the change requested is in the best interests of the child.

Baltimore custody attorneys at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC help parents with critical custody issues
Both fathers and mothers have custody rights. If you need to make custody changes or have questions about your custody rights, a Baltimore custody attorney at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help. Our legal team will work diligently to ensure that your child’s best interests are paramount and your rights are protected. Call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online for a free consultation. Based in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve customers across Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Colombia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville and White Hall. Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.

Visit for more information.

Comments are closed.