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Divorce Lawyers

Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law




This is about fathers' rights law, and protecting the best interests of your children. It provides information, news and comments on laws, cases and strategies for life as a single father and winning your custody, access or child support case.

Guessing About Custody

Best interests of the child is the test for determining custody.  But what does that mean?  It means whatever the judge decides it means.  Every judge sees it differently.  Judges are not all knowing and all wise.  They are in fact human beings.  They see their cases through their own filters.

1.  No Easy Answer.

“There is no litmus paper test that provides a quick and relatively easy answer to custody matters.”

2.  Ambiguous Factors.

“Present methods for determining a child’s best interests are time-consuming, involve a multitude of intangible factors that ofttimes are ambiguous.”

3.  Judge as Fortune Teller.

“The fact finder is called upon to evaluate the child’s life chances in each of the homes competing for custody and then to predict with whom the child will be better off in the future.”

4.  Best Interests Equals Best Guess.

“At the bottom line, what is in the child’s best interests equals the fact finder’s best guess.”

All the quotes are from Montgomery County v. Sanders, 38 Md. App. 406, 381 A.2d 1154 (1977)



2 Responses to “Guessing About Custody”

  1. Wayne Milton Says:

    This is so true. With all the uncertainty, it really unsettles a parent in a custody battle. Have there been any more clear decisions since 1977?

  2. James J. Gross Says:

    Wayne: It is still up to the judge to decide what is in the child’s best interest. And until they get a crystal ball on the judge’s desk, it will be an educated guess.

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