Either parent may seek custody of the children, there is not automatic preference for the children to reside with the mother or the father. The Court may award residential custody (which may be primary or shared) and also legal custody (which may be sole, joint, or a hybrid). Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions regarding the health, education, religious upbringing and general welfare of a child. Occasionally, a non-parent, such as a grandparent, may be able to gain custody of a child, if there are exceptional circumstances present.
Child support is based on the Maryland Child Support Guidelines, and is dependent on the incomes of the parties, certain child related expenses and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.