If you and your spouse are parents, creating a custody agreement could be the most challenging part of your divorce. You two likely have differing ideas about what is best for your children. And neither of you will want to back down from your beliefs. Emotions can run high during these disputes, but it’s important to keep your kids’ best interests in mind. Doing so can help ease any conflicts and allow you to create an agreement that is fair and practical.
Consider your children’s best interests
You and your spouse will need to consider Maryland’s custody laws as you work toward an agreement. These laws put precedence on your children’s best interests. And they factor in your children’s desires, too, so long as they are of appropriate age and maturity.
To determine your children’s best interests, you and your spouse must weigh certain facts. These include:
- Whether you and your spouse both exhibit the mental and physical fitness to parent
- Whether you and your spouse can both help your children maintain family relationships
- Whether you and your spouse can both provide for your children’s needs and opportunities
- Whether you and your spouse live close to each other and your children’s schools
- Whether you or your spouse are your children’s primary caregiver
Work toward an agreement
You and your spouse might both think you have your children’s best interests in mind. Yet, you may find yourself unable to agree on how these manifest. If you cannot come to terms, you may want to consider pursuing mediation, rather than litigating your dispute in court. By litigating your custody battle, a judge will set terms that you may both disagree on. In mediation, though, you will discuss your differences with a neutral professional. They cannot give you legal advice, but they can guide you and your spouse toward an agreement.
Prioritizing your children’s needs can help put your custody conflict into perspective. Even if you cannot see eye to eye with your spouse, it’s important that you work toward an agreement. An attorney with family law experience can help you do so.