How will the judge make a decision about custody?
When deciding who will have custody, a judge will try to make an arrangement that s/he thinks is in the best interest of your child. The court will base its decision on many factors. Some of the things a judge will consider are:
- The fitness (parenting ability) of the parents;
- The character and reputation of the parents;
- The wishes of the parents, and any agreements between them;
- The potential for keeping “natural family relations;"
- The preference of the child, when the child is old and mature enough to reasonably give an opinion;
- Material (financial) opportunities affecting the future life of the child;
- The age, health, and sex of the child;
- Where the parents live and the opportunity for visitation;
- The length of the separation of the parents; and
- Whether either parent willingly gave up of custody of the child.1
1 See MD Law Encyclopedia, Parent and Child § 10; Best v. Best, 93 Md. App. 644, 613 A.2d 1043 (1992)