Maryland Family Law Questions & Answers

Q: we have joint custody but the mother has physical custody. Can you move out of state with our 8 year old?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Dawn Renee Gould's answer
It depends upon what your court order states regarding custody/access and moving. If you have custody/access and her move disrupts/hinders it, then you can file contempt because your access/custody rights have been violated. Carefully read your court order. If you don't have a court order, I would file for a custody order.

Q: can childsupport be increased if child no longer lives with father, who had joint custody. (kicked child out his house)

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 18, 2019
Dawn Renee Gould's answer
Yes. You can file a motion to modify child support but be prepared to prove with evidence that the child is no longer staying the requisite overnights. As a cautionary measure, I would also file a motion to modify custody. The courts may very well not modify child support until the custody is finalized, additionally, you wouldn't an order for custody with joint custody if that's not what's occurring. Child support and custody are always modifiable and you need to prove that a material change...

Q: My ex- husband has sole and physical custody of my kid in MD. who is responsible for the child medical expenses ?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 23, 2019
Dawn Renee Gould's answer
If a Judge didn't sign an Order, then you don't have an Order at all. If you signed an agreement with your ex, then whatever the agreement states, is what you need to abide by unless you file to strike the agreement. If you don't abide by it or even if he doesn't abide it, one or both of you can file contempt for violating the agreement. By law, both parents have a right to access medical and school records. Legal custody means the right to make decisions on the medical care, not the right...

Q: In court last week there was a new court order made but has not been signed yet. Is the previous court order in place?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 23, 2019
Dawn Renee Gould's answer
If the Judge ruled on the record then that ruling is an Order. However, your question is very vague. The ruling could've been only a ruling on a certain issue which means that all other orders are still valid regarding other issues. Your question is lacking too much information to truly tell what occurred.

Q: Can I get my son’s bio fathers right revoked so my fiancé can adopt him?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 23, 2019
Dawn Renee Gould's answer
No, he will have to be served. He has a right to a hearing on terminating his parental rights, which must be done prior to a hearing on adoption.

Q: Default hearing for custody

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 23, 2019
Dawn Renee Gould's answer
Typically, an Order of Default is granted in these types of scenarios but also the other parent may show up for the hearing, even though the other parent didn't file an Answer. Regardless, testimony will be taken a the hearing and the Judge will make a ruling based on the testimony and evidence.

Q: I’m separating from my husband &want to move out of Maryland to another state and there’s no custody arrangement

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 23, 2019
Dawn Renee Gould's answer
It's probably prudent to file for custody prior to moving. However, without a custody agreement, you are free to move anywhere. The risk that you run if you move with your daughter is your husband filing for custody and then you'll have to return to MD to defend the suit. You said that you are separating so a custody agreement can be part of your separation agreement and if he agrees to all property distribution as well then you won't have a waiting period to get divorced.

Q: If a Principal is violating Court Orders, can her POA violate them too on her behalf?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 17, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
The contempt is against the principal, not the agent, unless the principal is mentally incompetent.

Q: can I serve a show cause order via Facebook if I’m having problems serving the person in person and mail and the sherif

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 17, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
No. Pay $50-75 to have a private professional process server make service, and if the defendant continues to evade service, the process server will prepare an affidavit of the attempts to serve and reasons why they believe the defendant is deliberately avoiding service. Based on that affidavit, you can file a motion for alternative service, requesting a court order to allow service by first class mail and posting a copy on her door.

Q: My father, no will & my grandmother went before him, no will. There r only 3 blood relative my Aunt Amy brother and me

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 17, 2019
Cheryl Sellers Johnson's answer
I am sorry to hear about the passing of your father and grandmother. You have presented some bare facts but not really a question. If your grandmother and father had valid Wills, their estates would be distributed according to the provisions of their Wills. If neither had a Will, just based on what you stated, it appears that you would be entitled to an inheritance. I would be able to answer more fully if I knew where your father and grandmother lived when they passed and whether they had...

Q: I have a bankruptcy chapter 13 question please?

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 8, 2019
Stuart Nachbar's answer
The Chapter 13 Trustee could escrow the funds with the Court, and allow your Discharge. I would look into that option

Q: My son is 17 and my ex wife kicked him out. What is my recourse regarding his safety and my support?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 31, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
His safety? You can provide him a home, and you can immediately file to change custody from her to you and modify/terminate child support from the date you file the motion. In fact, if custody is switched to you, you would be entitled to child support from her. Your motion would have to specifically ask for that, however. Until you file a motion, the existing custody order and support order remains in effect, and you may potentially be held in contempt of court for not paying under it....

Q: When filing for separation does the other party have to moved. There are no children between the two.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 9, 2019
Nyasha A. West's answer
Unlike an Absolute Divorce on the ground of Voluntary Separation, when parties seek to divorce on the ground of Mutual Consent, there is no requirement that they live separate and apart prior to seeking to dissolve the marriage.

In Maryland, a divorce may be granted on the ground of Mutual Consent so long as the following conditions are met:

1. The parties have a signed settlement agreement that resolves property issues, alimony and issues related to dependent or minor children...

Q: Does my sons father have the right to claim him as a dependent on taxes without my consent?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Tax Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 19, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
He can claim him, but he will not be doing so legally. Your son does not live with him the requisite number of overnights per year to claim him; only you have the right. If you both claim him, the IRS will inquire as to these facts. Parties can, by agreement, split or alternate, by year, claiming their child on their taxes, so if you have signed such an agreement, you may be bound to it. In the absence of an agreement, you are the only parent with the right to claim the deduction based on...

Q: Estranged mom leaves unwarranted voicemails each week. Claims she knows how to find me & can do it easy way or hard way

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 11, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
If her communications can be characterized as persistent, unwanted and seriously annoying to you, after she has been told to stop, then you can file for a protective order in the District Court. If she violates that, she could be charged either with civil contempt or a criminal offense (violation of a protective order is a criminal offense). It is possible also that her repeated telephone calls would satisfy criminal charges for telephone misuse and harrassment, but that may be overkill...

Q: Do I have any options if my grandchild will be kept from me?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 17, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Unfortunately, you have no legal rights to enforce so long as your son is alive and in the picture. If your son were to die or become imprisoned, Maryland law would allow a grandparent to petition for reasonable limited visitation so as not to freeze out the paternal side of the family. However, choices over whom parents of a child allow to see and visit are exclusively within the discretion of the parents. Certainly your son, the father, can make decisions regarding his own child and who...

Q: So I’m not understanding is child support determined by how much time the child spends with one parent?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 15, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Without an agreement, the courts calculate the child support amount according to a guidelines chart, based upon the combined gross monthly income of both parents. That gross income number determined the amount of money it takes per month for parents at that income level to raise the child(ren) (the more children, the greater the number). Then each parent is assigned their proportionate share of that number. The parent having primary physical custody does not pay their share to anyone, as...

Q: My husband filed divorce and it was finalized in May. I never signed the papers. Could I ask for alimony?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 15, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
Your deadline to respond was 30 days after you were served -- whether you had an attorney or not. Once the divorce is final, you cannot go back and ask for alimony.

Q: Hi, I live in Maryland my ex is trying to sue me cause I called off the wedding. I also emotionally cheated.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Small Claims for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 10, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Maryland abolished the causes of action known as breach of marriage and alienation of affections, and any similar action, three quarters of a century ago. The engagement ring must be returned if demanded, as that is considered a conditional gift, with the condition being going through with the marriage. If your ex-fiancée incurred costs and expenses paying for things like the wedding venue, engraved invitations, etc., then maybe they would be able to claim 50% contribution toward those...

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