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If you and your spouse have been able to reach an agreement on how to handle child custody in connection with a Maryland divorce case, congratulations are in order. You are in an excellent position relative to many other co-parents who could be looking at court hearings, mediation, and a lengthy trial to get resolution on custody issues. By compromising on allocation of parental responsibilities and time-sharing, you sidestep a contested hearing. You must still comply with Maryland law on the child’s best interests, but a judge will likely approve an agreement that addresses the relevant factors.
However, despite eliminating a trial, there are still important legal issues involved with child custody. It is a mistake to think that legal counsel is not necessary simply because you worked out the fundamentals of a parenting plan. The following points should help you realize why retaining an Owings Mills child custody lawyer is still critical for uncontested cases.
Custody affects other child-related issues
Custody involves the important decision-making involved with raising the child, such as education, health care, religion, extracurricular activities, and much more. As a result, an agreement on child custody must also address other aspects of the parenting plan and legal process, such as:
- Where the child will primarily reside;
- Visitation and time-sharing for the nonresidential parent;
- The amount of the child support obligation for the nonresidential parent; and,
- Entering the agreed-upon orders and parenting plan in court.
Once parents review these topics, they might find that they truly do not agree on all aspects of child custody. If you do still agree, the legal process for entering an order can be confusing.
Your spouse has a lawyer
There is a considerable imbalance when just one parent is represented by counsel, so you level the playing field by retaining a child custody attorney. On the one hand, you cannot protect your rights as a parent if you do not fully understand them; on the other, you might be agreeing to take on a higher level of parental responsibilities or pay more in child support than Maryland family laws require.
You save money with a Maryland child custody attorney on your side
This point might seem contradictory until you realize the high costs of errors and omissions, in terms of both money and time. For instance:
- If you do not follow court procedural rules for scheduling your case on the docket, your agreed-upon parenting plan will not get before the judge for consideration.
- You must convince the court that the child custody arrangement serves your child’s best interests, or it will not be approved.
- Mistakes with the parenting plan increase the likelihood of heading back to court for modification or enforcement
A Baltimore County, MD Child Custody Attorney Will Guide You Through the Process
These are just a few of the reasons that working with experienced legal counsel is still a high priority, even when co-parents agree on child custody issues. For more information on how our team supports parents in divorce, please contact the Law Office of William F. Mulroney. You can call (443) 352-8433 to schedule a free initial phone consultation with a skilled lawyer.