If you are looking for an empathetic but sharp child custody attorney in Maryland, turn to Baumohl Hamburg, a boutique-style law firm dedicated to providing unsurpassed child custody advocacy and litigation in Maryland. Our legal services include representation in matters of joint custody, joint legal custody, joint physical custody, shared physical custody, sole custody, split custody, high-asset divorce child custody, permanent custody, temporary custody (pendente lite), parental visitation rights, parenting plan creation, negotiation, appeals, modifications, and custody order violation. We know how hard, disruptive, and painful parent break up can be on the children. In order to make this transition smooth and less disturbing for everyone involved, we will compassionately and fearlessly fight for your child’s wellbeing and fair custody arrangements. Our family law attorneys are genuinely passionate about achieving positive outcomes with child’s and parent’s best interests in mind.

Leveraging our profound family law knowledge, coupled with true empathy, we have been able to achieve favorable rulings for many parties involved in Maryland child custody disputes. If you are facing a child custody conflict, and are looking for an experienced attorney, contact us to speak to one of our lawyers. At Baumohl Hamburg, our attorneys represent all sides involved, including parents, children, guardians, and relatives. We are sincerely dedicated to helping our clients through the emotional and difficult process of child custody determinations. To learn more about our legal services, call our office  today at (443) 940-2000 or complete the form to schedule a consultation.

Child Custody in Maryland

Legally speaking, child custody is parent’s (or guardian’s) legal right to care for and supervise a minor child until they reach the age of majority at 18 years old. Child custody involves the rights and responsibilities of each parent, such as physical care, supervision, and legal responsibility for the child’s needs.

Typically, custody over a child is awarded to one or both biological parents, but other important adults in child’s life can also file petition with the Maryland court, such as relatives or grandparents.

Maryland custody lawyers at Baumohl Hamburg Law Firm

Types Of Child Custody Arrangements In Maryland

If you are facing a divorce with minor children involved, it is essential to have thorough understanding of various types of custody and visitation agreements aimed at ensuring child’s best interests.

In the state of Maryland, there are two types of child custody:

Physical custody

Physical custody specifies where the child will live and spend most of their time, including physical presence and daily care they receive. It denotes parent’s right to live (or spend majority time) with the child. The same parent is also responsible for day-to-day care. Physical custody can be sole, where child lives with one parent, or joint, where child lives with both parents.

Typically, one parent who is awarded primary residential parent, has child most of the time, while the other parent has visitation rights. In a joint custody system, each parent has the child for a minimum of 35% of the time (or 128 overnights) annually, which also determines how child support is calculated.

Legal custody

Legal custody refers to parent’s right and authority to make major decisions about the child’s welfare, including education, medical care, hobbies, social activities, religion, and so on. Since these are all important aspects that influence child’s quality of life, it is essential these decisions are granted to the parent who will safeguard child’s interests. Legal custody can be sole or shared (joint).

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Legal & Physical Custody Interlaced

Although these two types are different, they are not necessarily completely separated, and they may intertwine among the parents. For example, there is also possibility for the parents to have different physical and legal arrangements. Both parents may have the right to make important decisions about child’s life, but only one parent lives with the child. Co-parenting is an important aspect of child’s life and parents should always foster this type of positive collaboration in order to ensure child’s wellbeing.

While some couples can reach a mutual agreement quickly, it is not always easy to accomplish a compromise that suits all sides. Experienced Maryland custody attorney can help you decide which type best suits your family’s needs. Depending on your family’s specific circumstances, the judge may order the following types of arrangements:

  • Sole custody – There is only one custodial parent who has both legal and physical custody.
  • Split custody – In families with multiple children, one parent may have sole custody of some of the children, while the other parent has sole custody of the remaining children.
  • Joint legal custody – A child may live with one or both parents, but significant decisions regarding their wellbeing and safety are made by both parents equally.
  • Joint (shared) physical custody – Both parents share responsibilities for physical care of the child. The child divides their time between both parents’ residences. Split may not necessarily be 50/50.
  • Emergency custody – Each individual who believes is at eminent risk of immediate harm to your child and/or you, you may request the court to grant emergency custody.
  • Temporary (pendente lite) custody – This custody is temporary, awarded before litigation, while you wait for the court to hold a hearing.

Child Custody Determinations In Maryland Courts

Child custody matters have to be resolved before the divorce is finalized. It is determined based on the best interests of the child. Maryland system does not favor either parent, it treats all individuals equally and strives to rule an order that will allow the child to spend time with both parents.

Listed below are several factors that a judge takes into consideration when deciding on which type of custody is awarded to whom:

  • Establishing who the primary caregiver is
  • Child’s preference
  • Parent’s physical and mental health and ability to care for the child
  • Parent’s character and moral standards
  • Ability to co-parent and foster positive family relationship
  • Age, employment circumstances, income
  • Past disagreements
  • Proximity to child
  • Which parent is child’s emotional support
  • Daily routines of each parent
  • The nature of relationship between child and each parent

How To Seek Child Custody In Maryland?

After consulting with child custody lawyer and deciding which type of child custody to go for, here are the next steps:


Start by trying to come to terms with the other parent through negotiation. If you manage to agree on the specifics, you can submit parenting plan to court for judge’s approval.


If you fail to agree to terms with the other parent, you can submit a petition for custody in the circuit court.


Also known as ‘service of process’, this is the procedure when the other parent is formally notified of the case.


File proposed parenting plan, with details on living arrangements, healthcare, education, and visitation schedules.


The court may check each parent’s living situation as well as their relationship with the child.


Both parents present their cases at the custody hearing.


After analyzing all evidence, the judge will grant custody and visitation order.

Court-Appointed Attorneys In Child Custody Cases In Maryland

There are certain circumstances where a judge may appoint a lawyer for the child in a contested child custody case. The judge may also interview the child to hear what his wishes and preferences are.

The lawyer appointed by the judge may serve one of three purposes:

  • Child’s privilege attorney – The role of this lawyer is to decide whether to disclose or not child’s privileged information in court.
  • Child’s best interest attorney – This attorney is appointed by the judge to advocate for the child’s best interests in cases of high-level conflicts and adult manipulation.
  • Child’s advocate attorney – An independent lawyer who advocates for the child’s wishes.

Why Choose Us To Represent You In Maryland Child Custody Case

Baumohl Hamburg is a boutique-style law firm that offers skilled legal counsel and foolproof strategies for achieving positive outcomes in all family law and divorce cases. Over the years, our hard-working, caring, and understanding attorneys have helped many Marylanders reach their legal goals with undivided attention. Our primary goal is to provide fearless legal advocacy and to ensure each client obtains savvy and compassionate representation. Each case is handled with utmost commitment. We are here to passionately fight for your better future.

  • 75+ years of combined experience
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Maryland laws
  • Specializing in family law matters
  • Responsive and always accessible
  • High-net worth divorce case experts
  • Exceptional track record of success

Meet Our Maryland Custody Lawyers


Harry A Baumohl, Founding Partner

Harry is a compassionate and sharp family law lawyer who has more than 4 decades of experience. He is highly respected among the clients due to his unique approach, dedication, and advanced knowledge. He is recognized as an attorney who has exceptional skills and high emotional intelligence for family law matters. Harry is an active member of Maryland State Bar Association, American Bar Association, Baltimore County Bar Association, and Baltimore Collaborative Divorce Professionals.


Michael B. Hamburg, Esq., Founding Partner

Michael is a well versed attorney who has rich background of more than 25 years of experience in family law and civil disputes. Many residents of Maryland have come to rely upon his legal counsel and his judicial wisdom. Michael has tirelessly litigated and advocated for children and families in many cases to obtain best outcomes for his clients. He is an active member of the Baltimore County Bar Association and volunteers at CHANA to help domestic violence victims with legal advice.

Jodie Sykes Hamburg, Associate Attorney

Jodie is a proficient attorney who has been with the company since 2010. Over the years, she has successfully handled many personal injury and family law cases with utmost dedication and hunger for excellence. Jodie is also a certified mediator recognized by Maryland courts. She is well-versed in achieving mutual consent outside the courtroom through powerful negotiation strategies and mediation.

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

Mike Hamburg and Jodie supported me through a two-year custody and divorce battle with my narcissistic ex while living across the country. We didn’t actually physically meet until we were 6 months into the case. Incredible. Mike is knowledgeable and Jodie is intuitive. They are a strong team who work together seamlessly. They helped me win my daughters and my freedom after two long days in court and two long years preparing. I have stayed in touch with Jodie and Mike for over ten years now which is a testament to them. They really got to know me. They took time to handle my case with legal grit while holding my hand at the same time. I value them and what they were able to do for me. I highly recommend the Baumohl Hamburg Law Firm to lead you through divorce and custody battles.

Jodi Fitzgerald

Locations We Serve In Maryland

The law office of Baumohl Hamburg offers expert legal counsel to anyone in Maryland who is going through divorce and family law issues, including child custody, child support, alimony, and marital property division. Areas we serve are listed below. For other locations, feel free to contact our office.

AnnapolisBaltimoreClarksvilleCockeysvilleColumbiaEllicott City  – GlyndonHanoverHunt ValleyJarrettsvilleLutherville-Timonium –  MonktonOwings MillsPikesvillePhoenixReisterstownTowson

Commonly Asked Questions

1. Is Maryland a 50/50 custody state?

No. Maryland is not a 50/50 custody state and the court does not automatically award this custody arrangement. Since neither parent is favored, the court makes decision based on analyzing certain factors that impact child’s wellbeing. If the parents agree on 50/50 schedule, then the judge may decide to approve this type of arrangement.


2. What do judges look for in child custody cases in Maryland?

In child custody matters, the court’s main concern is welfare of the child. There are no routine solutions because of the unique character of these sensitive cases and happiness and safety of the child is always the ultimate goal. Judges typically look for a multitude of factors to ensure child’s wellbeing, such as primary caregiver role, parent’s fitness, age, health, visitation opportunities, child preference, willingness to share custody, employment demands, parent’s sincerity, willingness to continue normal family relations, disruption of social and school life, financial circumstances, relationship between child and each parent, and many others.


3. How is custody decided in Maryland?

In Maryland, when it comes to awarding custody, the law puts child’s best interests first. This means there are no set rules about who will automatically get custody. The law assumes that both parents have responsibility for their child, and one parent is never favored over the other. Consequently, either parent can submit custody petition in court. In case both parties are unable to reach mutual agreement about custody arrangements, the judge will grant either shared custody or sole custody, depending on the unique circumstances of the case.


4. What happens if another parent violates child custody order?

In case a parent violates a custody order, by refusing to return the child, you should inform law enforcement and your custody attorney. Criminal charges may include kidnapping, child abuse, and contempt of court, and civil penalties involve reduction or termination of custody rights.


5. Can I change the child custody order?

Maryland custody court orders retain jurisdiction until the child is an adult. However, if there is a significant change in your case circumstances, you can request modifications. You might ask for modification in the case of the following:

  • Child abuse
  • A parent does not comply with a current order
  • A parent relocates from Maryland and the current plan is impractical
  • Due to a change in work schedules that impacts the ability to care for the child as planned
  • An older child (10 – 12 years old) requests change in arrangement
  • A parent’s disability limits their capability to care for a child

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified attorney for personalized guidance and representation in legal matters.