Legal Blog

Child Custody: Why You Need a Lawyer

Getting divorced can be challenging. Whenever children are involved, it’s a good idea to retain counsel. As parents, you are emotionally invested in your child. A lawyer can offer the objectivity needed to advise you how to consider things that are in the best interest of the child. Here are some other reasons why hiring an attorney is a good idea.

Your understanding of child custody is limited. There are varieties of custody arrangements which may need to be considered: sole physical, shared physical, sole legal and joint legal. Your lawyer will be aware of these and understand the nuances that come with each.

A lawyer understands child custody laws in your state. Much of what a judge decides in the child custody arena is the result of case law, not a statute.  Case law is always changing as different child custody circumstances are presented to the appellate courts.  Your attorney will be familiar with the changes in the law that occur as the result of legislation and of case law.

A lawyer should be used with difficult cases. If your child has special needs, you will need the advice of a lawyer. If one parent is going to move far away, a lawyer is also necessary. Since almost every case of child custody is different, hiring a qualified attorney is always a good idea.

A lawyer understands what is and is not admissible in court. Letters from friends and family are not admissible in child custody cases. In most instances, parents are not permitted to testify as to what their children have told them. Your attorney knows how to get pertinent information into evidence, and he /she understands the limitations of admissibility.

Child custody is not permanent. Prior agreements and prior habits regarding custody have an impact on a custody determination. In the event that a material change in circumstances does occur, you will need an experienced litigator to file a motion to modify a court order.

Other variables may affect child support. An experienced attorney recognizes that certain aspects of custody affect child support.  Child support is also influenced by the amount of alimony paid and received.

Deciding child custody can be very emotional. However, hiring an experienced family law attorney to act in the best interest of you and your child is always a good idea.


For help with your divorce and child custody issues, contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz at or 301-575-0381.



Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 36 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.



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