Category: Child Custody

Stepparent Adoptions in the State of Maryland

on Jul 30, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce

Stepparent adoptions in Maryland occur frequently in “blended families.”  The term “blended family” means a marriage after a divorce or other relationship that produces a child.   The non-biological parent, or stepparent, adopts a spouse’s child from the previous relationship.  In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent assumes both legal and financial responsibility for a spouse’s children.  Further, the non-custodial parent no longer has any parenting responsibilities or rights. Circumstances and Requirements for Stepparent Adoption in Maryland Many circumstances lead to families pursuing stepparent adoption.  In some cases, a mother remarries and her new husband wants to adopt her child or children.  Similarly, a father remarries and his new wife wants to adopt his child or children.  In other cases, same-sex...

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Selecting Your Divorce Attorney

on Jul 3, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce

Why Selecting the Right Divorce Attorney Matters Whether you are only considering filing for divorce, or have already made the decision to divorce, selecting a divorce attorney is a critical part of the process.  If you and your spouse have children in common, you will be dealing with each other for years to come.  This won’t only include through the childhood years.  Parents who have children in common will share holidays, celebrate births, and grieve losses with their children into adulthood. Even people without children in common will live with the decisions made in the divorce decree for the rest of their lives.  Where the lawyers can’t come to a resolution, courts make determinations about alimony and property division...

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Parental Rights of Unmarried Parents

on Jun 22, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support

Child custody, child support and establishing parenting time are frequently complicated and contentious when married parents go through a divorce.  When parents are not married, those issues surrounding parental rights often become even more problematic.  If the parents are not married, custody of the child is awarded to the mother immediately.  However, a father has rights to pursue through legal proceedings. Parental Rights of the Mother Unmarried mothers are granted primary rights to custody of the child.  As a result, she has the authority to make all decisions regarding her child.  Unless this changes by agreement of the parents or a court order, the child resides with the mother.  The mother makes all decisions about the child’s schooling and...

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Creating a Long Distance Parenting Plan

on Jun 15, 2017 in Child Custody, Divorce

Divorced or separated parents may live far away from each other.  One parent may also relocate a long distance away after a divorce.  An appropriate long-distance parenting plan allows children and the distant parent to maintain regular contact.  Creating a long-distance parenting plan requires careful planning and it must account for the unique situation of the family.  This can be particularly difficult if visitation has been established after a divorce and must be renegotiated when one parent moves away. The parenting plan must be as detailed as possible.  Even if the parties get along initially, nobody knows how long that will last and how relationships can change.  Flexibility is important, but a party must be able to rely on...

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Parenting Time: Five Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking Modification

on May 21, 2017 in Child Custody, Divorce

In divorce proceedings, parties frequently agree to parenting time. Sometimes, however, a judge makes the decision about the division of parenting responsibilities.  These decisions, whether made by the parties or the court, are made with the best interests of the children in mind.  Of course, the circumstances of each parent are also taken into consideration.  As time goes on, the circumstances of the parents may change.  When this happens, a modification of the previously agreed to (or ordered) parenting time might be appropriate. However, parties can’t simply unilaterally decide to modify parenting time.  Instead, there are rules and procedures that must be followed.  Requests to modify parenting time can be extremely easy, or incredibly challenging, based on various circumstances.  These...

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Going to Court: Five Tips to Help You Succeed

on May 18, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce

Divorce is a stressful and challenging time in any person’s life.  Going to court for divorce proceedings tends to compound the anxiety and stress of the process.  Because of this, it is essential persons going to court be mindful of their own conduct.  Additionally, one should actively take steps to consider the choices they are making before entering the courtroom.  While proper courtroom behavior may not lead a party to prevail on any given issue, improper behavior can provide a lasting impression on the court – which could impact the court’s decisions in your case. 1.  Understand the Purpose of the Proceedings There are a few different reasons one may go to court during divorce proceedings.  Take the time...

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