Legal Question in Family Law in Maryland

Can my son's father get any type of joint custody? I am a single mom (never married) living in the state of MD. My son's father is currently not working and is on disability for his psychological and health issues. My son has always lived with me and I am wondering what the chances are that his father will get any type of joint custody. the child has my last name (father signed Birth certificate after the fact). I don't receive any support from the father and never have. His father doesn't live on his own (still lives with parents) and he doesn't work due to his illnesses. All illnesses are documented by his psychiatrist and doctors as well as his employer since he is on disability thru them.

Asked on 6/29/13, 8:26 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Sher Wagshal and Sher
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There are 2 kinds of custody-legal and physical/residential. Unless the father could show that you are not a fit mother, there is no way a court would change the current custody/visitation arrangement. By the way, you are legally entitled to child support, although if the father is physically unable to work it would be hard to get this. If he receives disability benefits, they could be taken into consideration in determining how much support he should be paying.

As for joint legal custody, if up to now you have been the only one making life decisions for your son, and doing a good job, I doubt a judge would change that. If the father were to be given joint legal custody, he would have more input into decisions regarding education, health care, religious training, etc, and if the 2 of you were to have different ideas about your son in these areas, it would make it difficult to raise him.

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Answered on 6/30/13, 3:11 am
Steven Scheinin Steven J. Scheinin, Lawyer
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If by " any type of joint custody" you are referring to visitation, then the answer is yes.

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Answered on 6/30/13, 6:48 am

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