Hybrid Custody Arrangements in Maryland

Bethesda family lawyer creates parenting plans tailored to children’s needs

Finding the best way to raise children together following a divorce or the end of a nonmarital relationship can be very complicated, and traditional models addressing legal and physical custody might not work well given your values and circumstances. The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott, LLC in Bethesda delivers personalized counsel to family law clients and can identify hybrid custody arrangements that suit your situation and needs. Ms. Talbott has decades of experience helping Maryland parents create supportive environments for their children. Whether joint legal custody with primary physical custody, joint legal custody with tiebreaking authority or a different option works best for you, she can advocate for a customized, effective parenting plan. 

Joint legal custody with primary physical custody

Being a parent involves so many different unique responsibilities. Mothers and fathers must provide emotional and financial support while meeting their child’s everyday needs. During a divorce, the law calls for custody terms to be set based on what is in a child’s best interests. Frequently, the optimal resolution is to give both parents legal authority over their son or daughter. However, it might be best to grant one parent primary physical custody so that the youth can maintain strong school and community ties. The noncustodial parent in these cases usually has substantial visitation rights, typically on weekends and during school vacations. When joint legal custody with primary physical custody will give your son or daughter the best chance to thrive, Ms. Talbott will develop a well-supported argument to achieve that result.

Joint legal custody with tiebreaking authority

Most people agree that even if it’s best for a child to reside primarily in one home, both parents should have influence over key decisions involving child-rearing. This is why joint legal custody is so common, because it allows both parents to have a say when resolving important concerns on issues such as medical treatment, education and religious upbringing. While this arrangement promotes communication and cooperation, there is one foreseeable problem: What happens when parents differ on a critical matter and neither will budge from their position?

Some Maryland parenting plans use joint legal custody with tiebreaking authority as a solution. This arrangement is designed to encourage shared decision-making while averting deadlocks that could potentially harm children. Some might consider tiebreaking authority to be a polite term for what is actually sole legal custody, but there should be a distinction. While sole legal custody might be appropriate for situations where one parent lacks the ability or willingness to make mature choices for their child, joint legal custody with tiebreaking authority emphasizes the need for consensus. Ideally, the tiebreaking authority will be used sparingly, if at all. You have the best handle of how you and your co-parent will handle decisions in the future. If joint legal custody with tiebreaking authority might work best, Ms. Talbott can advocate for an order that establishes it. 

Contact a dedicated Maryland family lawyer for sound counsel on custody matters

The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott, LLC in Bethesda advises Maryland clients on hybrid custody arrangements and other options when parents live apart. To make an appointment for a consultation, please call 301-424-7799 or contact her online.

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    - Violet.
  • Stacy: Thank you for all you did to defend me. My child is protected now thanks to your hard work.

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  • My ex-husband (bipolar I + severe alcoholic) left Maryland for 2 years and abruptly returned, demanding to resume visitation with my son. To protect my son, I sought a child custody attorney and was referred to Stacy Talbott. She did a fantastic job of opposing my ex-husband’s outlandish case, while also controlling costs. My ex-husband’s attorneys dropped their fallacious suit against me and we settled out of court, with virtually all of my originally desired protective provisions in place.

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  • Thanks to Mrs. Talbott and Mrs. Michelle, they helped me during one of the most difficult times in my life. I’m happy that God chose the right lawyer for me as I had absolutely no idea how to find one by myself. Despite the fact that the separation/divorce was painful, interacting with the two of them helped me stay positive. I recommend Mrs. Talbott for anyone that I care for.

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    - Frank G.