Legal custody means the authority to make long-range decisions about a minor child’s health, education, welfare, religious needs, etc. It is the lawful authority to parent a child. There are two types of legal custody: joint and sole. Joint legal custody means that both parents have equal control of the decision making for their child. In order to retain joint legal custody, when that matter is in dispute, a parent must be able to prove that the parents have a history of being able to resolve conflicts between them concerning their child’s interests. Sole legal custody grants one parent exclusive authority to make all long-range decisions concerning the best interests of a child. Nearly all cases begin with a presumption of joint legal custody. There is no preference in Maryland law that favors one parent over another, regarding legal or residential custody, based upon the gender of a parent.