CUSTODY, VISITATION AND CHILD SUPPORT
Even when parents no longer want to be together, a father’s and a mother’s obligations and right to love and support his/her child does not end.
In addition, just because a marriage or relationship is ending, that rarely means that one parent will be shut out completely from a child’s life. At the Mulinazzi Law Office, we work with clients throughout Columbia, Clarksville, Odenton, Ellicott City and the surrounding areas to create child support and child custody arrangements that benefit all sides – especially the children. Contact our firm or call 410-290-6270 to schedule your appointment with an understanding and experienced child custody lawyer.
WORKING TOWARDS THE CHILD’S BEST INTEREST
The most important aspect of child custody is determining an access schedule that is in the best interests of the child, while also taking into consideration both parents’ rights. When child custody arrangements are being decided, the court considers two types of custody:
- Physical custody: Physical custody refers to where the child lays his or her head at night. It is important to know that, absent extreme circumstances, both parents will share time with the child(ren) and in many cases some type of shared physical custody arrangement may be best for the child.
- Legal custody: Legal custody determines who will be responsible for making the important decisions in the child’s life. This includes decisions regarding education, medical treatment and religion.
As long as both parents have acted responsibly in their role are parents, the court prefers to keep both parents involved in raising the child. While physical and legal custody are not always divided 50/50, we help our clients protect their rights and their time with their children in a manner that works for their family. Our clients have written glowing reviews about our representation because we stayed focused on solutions that are best for the children and the family. This keeps costs down but more importantly it tamps down the level of conflict and this gives the family a better chance to create mutual solutions while protecting the children from the fallout of the dispute.
The attorneys at Mulinazzi Law Office constantly update their training in various topics and issues concerning custody law, parental dynamics, and child development.
AVOIDING UNNECESSARY (AND EXPENSIVE) FIGHTS
Disputes in family law cases often become “custody battles” when one or more parent’s emotions drive their decisions. It is human to be upset and hurt and to lose sight of what is best for the children who love both of their parents dearly. For example, could it be true that he is a horrible Husband but a very good Dad?
The Mulinazzi Law Office lawyers are trained to diffuse situations and we look at the facts from the perspective of both the children and the Judge. We are committed to giving our clients the best advice even if it is information they do not want to hear. We work to help our clients improve their co-parenting because that helps their children, it helps their family, and it helps their court case. We recognize that each family has different needs and unique logistics that must be accommodated for any time-sharing schedule to work long-term.
Our attorneys attempt to reach partial or full settlements and Parenting Plans whenever feasible. On the other hand, our attorneys are highly skilled custody litigators who have a proven track record and reputation for successfully handling the most acrimonious cases and the most volatile, narcissistic, and/or destructive personalities. If the case must go to Court, then the lawyers at Mulinazzi Law Office are the most prepared attorney in the courtroom – preparation that starts as the initial consultation.
Our attorneys are well-respected by the Judges and Magistrates of the Courts. In fact, our attorneys are often asked by the Judges to represent children in custody cases as Best Interests Attorneys for children. Likewise, our attorneys are asked to present information, staff clinics, and provide mediation services to help unrepresented parents resolve their cases in a child-centered manner.
DETERMINING CHILD SUPPORT
In Maryland, child support is determined by forma formula called the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. The formula considers several variables, including the gross income of both parents, the cost of the child’s health insurance, the cost of work-related day care, private school tuition (when applicable) and extraordinary medical expenses. Often, parties can determine the amount of child support without representation. However, not every case is cookie-cutter and sometimes the “Guidelines” do not apply.
“How will my income be determined if I own my own business? How can I prove that she is purposefully decreasing her income now because we are in court for child support?”
While your situation is unique in many ways, Maryland Law has case precedent and statutory law to address almost any wrinkle that can be presented associated with income oscillation and/or manipulation. The attorneys at Mulinazzi Law Office are experienced and extremely successful at calculating, presenting, and winning these cases.
We communicate extensively with our clients throughout the process, telling them what to expect at each legal intersection. If you are trying to arrange a custody or visitation schedule or a fair child support determination, contact our firm online or call 410-290-6270. We will protect your parenting rights and work with you to create a healthy plan for your children.