Maryland Family Law Questions & Answers

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 a doctor break any laws dating a former patient?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Health Care Law and Medical Malpractice for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
As with many things legal, whether a romantic relationship is legally problematic will depend on the circumstances. Was the doctor pursuing the patient while treating or did the romantic interest arise well after the termination of the doctor/patient relationship? Was the doctor/patient relationship a single visit without dependency or was this a long-term counseling situation? Besides all that, is the doctor in a practice / group with rules about such relationships?

Off the top of...

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...

Q: What happens if a child accidentally ingested marijuana infused cookie, child taken to ER. ER Dr. Refers to CPS.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 5, 2018
Gary Kollin's answer
You definitely need a lawyer. Before you speak to anyone you to consult with the lawyer

Q: Question on if a divorce agreement can be changed 4 years later

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Civil Litigation, Divorce and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 28, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
Unfortunately no. Once a divorce is final, you cannot go back and ask for alimony or any property division. Only custody and child support are modifiable.

If everyone has been following the agreement for four years and receiving the benefits of it, the court is not going to throw it out -- short of proving fraud at the time of creation. Not being in the right emotional state is not fraud.

Q: Is husband liable for a loan wife cosigned for her aunt?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Maryland does not shift debt to a spouse, so if a husband never signs any loan documents he should not be personally responsible for the debt of his wife.

Whether or not any assets are at risk will depend how they are titled.

While not legal advice, I hope that this helps.

Q: What is the process of getting an annulment?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 17, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
If you are already divorced, you cannot get an annulment. An annulment is a legal statement that the marriage should not have occurred in the first place based on very specific reasons. If you were granted a divorce, that means there was a legal finding that there was a marriage.

Q: Hello! What is the process for a legal last name change for a minor child? I live in Prince George County.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 1, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
Maryland has the right to grant the name change as the children live here now and are residents. However, the court requires you to make extraordinary efforts to locate the father to try to obtain his consent. This is because it's not custody but a termination of his rights. It can be done, it just takes time.

Q: I was awarded sole custody of my son in MD. Prior to our divorce, my ex moved to NY. Can she stop me moving to CA?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 29, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
The concern for the court is -- will this affect the current custody arrangement. If she is supposed to see the kids every other weekend, well that's harder from California. But if it won't affect the current arrangement, unlikely to be able to actually stop it.

However, even if she says you can't go. You can always file with the court for permission to move. If the court feels it is in the best interest of the child and there will still be access (skype/facetime is great for...

Q: If my brother who is 29 has a state appointed guardian , wants to leave and come here .

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 23, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
If the guardianship is over the person, then there may be an issue. If he is otherwise capable of making decisions and living on his own, then he may be able to exercise his free will outside of the guardian's control, except that he would be unable to enter into contracts or own and manage property or assets, consent to medical treatment, etc., without his guardian's permission and consent. Some guardianships are not as all-encompassing as others. If the guardianship is limited to...

Q: In MD, are there ways around having to be separated for a year? Is it true this law is changing in October? Thank you.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 13, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
You must be separated for one year unless you have reached a written agreement on all issues, financial, property and related to the child prior to filing for the Absolute Divorce.

Q: I’m having a baby by a man who is fully supported by his mom. Can I sue his mom if she claims him on her taxes?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Tax Law and Child Support for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 11, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
All of the support provided to him by his mother can be considered income. Also if he is physically capable of working but does not, the court can impute income to him. You will need an attorney to help you pursue him for child support.

Q: Hello. I need advice. My dad is in competent of court for non payment of child support.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Criminal Law, Family Law and Civil Rights for Maryland on
Answered on Jul 31, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
Stay out of it. It is not your job to resolve this problem. Citizens' arrests aren't really a thing anyway. Let the court system handle this. Let your Mom handle it.

Q: What does 'Blanket Purge" mean.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Maryland on
Answered on Jul 14, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
For civil contempt, the person must be able to purge (fix ) the contempt. If they pay the $1000, no contempt and no jail. Although with a bench warrant they probably have to explain something to the judge first.

Q: My ex has not tried to see/call his child since Nov 2017. Is this grounds for abandonment? He also is not paying support

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jul 11, 2018
Elizabeth Pugliese's answer
The visitation is between you and your ex. His parents cannot just step in and take over his place. You do not have to give them the child for his access. IF he chooses to exercise his access, come get the child and then let his parents see the child during that time, he can do that. But you do not need to make sure his family has access.

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