Are there disadvantages to getting a court order for custody?

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Child Custody on Friday, February 20, 2015.

Parents in Maryland who are going through a divorce or have recently gone through a divorce know that discussions about the child with the other parent may be inevitable. These discussions can be uncomfortable at times, but parents who are going to be in a custody-sharing situation probably need to accept that opening lines of communication with their ex may be something they simply have to do for the good of their kids. These discussions can be the foundation for a workable parenting, custody or visitation plan between the parents.

Whether the other parent is going to be cooperative or not, it is probably in everyone's best interests to get a court-ordered child custody arrangement into place. In fact, unless there are good reasons for denying the other parent custody rights, the court will presume that joint custody is in the best interests of the children. Some parents may worry that taking the other parent to court to work out their differences will provoke the other parent or make the situation more adversarial than necessary, but getting a child custody order may be the only way to enforce the parenting agreement if disagreements or conflicts arise in the future.

Parents who worry that seeking a custody order might provoke the other parent may come to the realization that if the custody order doesn't do it, something else will. At that point, they will probably be glad they went ahead and took the proper steps to legally protect their rights in what could otherwise become a messy custody dispute.

The good news is that there are many ways to go about getting a child custody order into place, and it doesn't have to be an adversarial process. Some parents decide to mediate their custody concerns, and with the help of their respective family law attorneys, these parents may be able to reach an agreement by themselves without court intervention, and only require the court to hold a brief hearing or simply sign off on the agreed order.

Source: WomensLaw.org, "Know the laws: Maryland," accessed Feb. 15, 2015