Thank you for joining me. My name is LaSheena Williams, and I am a Maryland family law attorney. My firm helps our clients take control of out-of-control domestic situations. Today we will be discussing father’s rights and obtaining shared physical custody of your children.
Staying Engaged Regarding Your Children
When seeking shared physical custody, it’s important for you to stay engaged. What does that mean? Yes, it’s important for you to spend time with them, but it’s also important for you to know who their medical professionals are, who’s their pediatrician, who’s their dentist. It’s important for you to go to any parent-teacher conferences or any conferences regarding your child’s IEP. It’s important to take part and participate and not necessarily be a bystander on the sidelines, allowing your co-parent to take charge of everything. You want to be engaged and you want to help make the decisions that are going to ultimately shape your child’s life.
Maintaining an Appropriate Home in the School District or Within a Reasonable Driving Distance
While it is very important for you to make sure that you have a safe and appropriate home for your children, it’s also important and quite frankly crucial for your home to be in the same school zone as your children or at minimum in a very quick or short driving distance from your child’s school or your co-parents home. This is important because if you’ve made the effort to maintain a residence in your child’s school zone or near their co-parent’s home, then you’re showing that you’re trying to make an effort to be engaged, to be a part of your child’s life, to not necessarily be a parent that only sees your child on the weekends or sometimes during the summer, you’re making every effort to be available for your child so that you can actually be available for your child. And the court takes that into consideration in a way that many fathers fail to consider.
Maintaining Financial Stability
Financial stability, when seeking shared custody, is very important. You want to make sure that you can care for your child’s needs, that you can help pay for their childcare, help pay for any medical or dental expenses. You want to show that you are a stable force and ultimately a good influence, an appropriate influence, for your children. You want to do this so that it’s more likely that the court will grant you shared physical custody of your children.
Sticking to your Schedule: Timeliness and Frequency
If you have access with your children, whether it’s ordered or agreed upon, you want to make sure that you are seeing your children during these periods. You also want to make sure that you are picking them up and dropping them off at the appropriate time. The key is to make the transition for your children as seamless as possible and if you’re making it so that you’re not overly burdening your co-parent by showing up two or three hours late or not showing up at all and failing to let them know that you’re not showing up at all, you’re showing that you’re trying to work with them and that you want and you intend to spend as much available time with your children as possible. And that will ultimately increase the likelihood of you having a shared custody arrangement for your children.
If you have any questions about father’s rights or any other custody concerns in Maryland, contact the Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams at (301) 778 – 9950 or leave an online request for a consultation.