Baltimore County & Towson Child Custody Lawyer | Custody.Modification.
We Will Strive To Resolve Your Case Reasonably And Quickly. If That Does Not Happen, We Will Fight For You Until Hell Freezes Over, And Then On The Ice.
Top Baltimore County Child Custody Law Firm
The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman helps clients obtain and defend against requests to modify old child custody judgments, orders, and parenting plans entered by the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.
Cautionary Note About Child Custody Modifications.
To begin on a cautionary note, timing is everything in child custody modification. It all boils down to two moments in time: first, the day that the last child custody order, judgment or parenting plan was entered; second, the day that the party requests the modification. Everything turns on whether "enough" has happened between then and now for the court to justify re-opening the case. So many child custody cases are dismissed because the person who lost did not like the decision; and what you have is the exact same people fighting over the exact same things because the parent who lost (and is paying child support) just did not like the outcome. In other words, if you think you can get a second bite at the apple by filing a motion for modification of custody, you could not be more wrong.
The Legal Standard for Custody Modifications in The State of Maryland.
After establishing that Baltimore County has jurisdiction over the children pursuant to Maryland Code, Family Law §9.5-203, Amar S. Weisman will help the clients tackle the two-step process necessary to obtain the custody modification:
- Establishing a material change in circumstances
- Establishing the material change materially affects the welfare of the child.
- Helping the judge or magistrate create a better custody arrangement that really serves the best interests of the minor child.Sometimes that means recruiting a Best Interest Attorney to represent the minor child/children in accordance with Maryland Code, Family Law §1-202.
This law firm also has experience opposing child custody modifications on the grounds that:
- There has been no material change in circumstances, or, if there has been a material change in circumstances, it still does not affect the material well-being of the child/children.
- The modifications being proposed would uproot the children, disrupt the children, or undermine the stability that children need. .
- The parent seeking modification is seeking to help himself or herself, not the children.
Establishing Material Changes In Baltimore County.
The existing physical custody schedule has resulted in academic and/or disciplinary problems at school as evidenced through report cards, academic reports, and the recommendations of teachers and the school counselor.
- There has been a change in either (or both) parent's work schedules that results in the minor child being unsupervised for extended periods of time or supervised by somebody who is not the biological parent.
- The other parent is providing an unsafe home environment which has or could result in the minor child being the victim of physical abuse/domestic violence. In this situation, a key question is whether the other parent has actually been found to have engaged in physical abuse (Consider: the different between a parent being reported to the Department of Social Services ("DSS") and a parent actually having been found to have committed the alleged abuse.
- The minor child has an alcohol or substance abuse problem which is not being properly addressed under the current physical custody arrangements. This type of problem can be potentially caused by a lack of supervision and rules in the other parent's household.
- Interference With Visitation Rights with substantial evidence of both the visitation interference, its impact on the child and proof that the best interest of the child will be served with a transfer of custody. This includes situations where the custodial parent's hostile attitude toward a noncustodial parent may prevent a child from developing and maintaining relationships wit the other parent.
Parental Relocation Away From Maryland And Custody Modification.
There are no bright line rules governing parental relocation. Parental relocation can in itself constitute a change in circumstances affecting the material well-being of the minor child. The strongest caes for parental relocation will provide the Court with evidence that the minor child will benefit from the relocation. Conversely, one of the best ways to fight parental relocation is to argue that the relocation will disrupt the child's stability and relationship with the non-custodial parent. The burden falls on custodial parent to justify why the current custody arrangement is no longer workable. Upon establishing that the current arrangement is no longer workable, there is a level playing field both attorneys must present evidence that the client's proposed arrangements will serve the best interests of the minor child.
Common Reasons for Parental relocation include:
- Work/Employment Opportunities for the relocating parent.
- Remarriage of the relocating parent.
- Providing the minor child with material opportunities.
- Providing the minor child with educational opportunities.
- Providing the minor child with closer relationships with extended family.
- Health reasons, i.e. moving to a warmer client for health reasons.
The following factors may be raised by attorneys in relocation cases:
- Purpose/Circumstances of the proposed relocation from Baltimore County.
- Motive of relocating parent, including whether the purpose of the move is to create distance between the minor child and the other parent.
- History of parental alienation.
- History of the litigation between the parties.
- Allocation of transportation costs to compensate non-relocating parent.
- Custody Evaluations, as Ordered at the Circuit Court for Baltimore County Scheduling Conference.
- Parent Interviews, usually in Towson at the County Courts Building.
- interviews with the minor child and observations of the minor child interacting with each parent in a home setting.
- Investigation into the motives for the relocation
- Presentation of custody evaluation to the Court.
- Sometimes in cases involving parental relocation, the Court will appoint an attorney to represent the best interests of the minor child.
The Strategic Presentation of Evidence In The Circuit Court for Baltimore County.
For modification cases, the Court Papers should tell the court why modification is necessary in a simple, direct, and elegant manner. In contested child custody modification matters, we work diligently to obtain evidence using discovery including report cards, text messages, e-mail, photographs, and mental health records. With respect to legal custody, the breakdown of communications between two parents sharing legal custody may necessitate a modification to sole custody. All questions of custody begin and end with the best interests of the minor child.
Call (410) 321-4994 For a Consultation With Towson Divorce & Child Custody Family Lawyer Amar S. Weisman.
Please Call (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The purpose of the consultation is to decide whether you want to hire Amar S. Weisman. To obtain legal services, you must pay a retainer, see Policy on Fees/Costs. The law firm is next to The Circuit Court For Baltimore County, at 305 Allegheny Avenue, Towson, MD, 21204. We represent clients throughout the Baltimore area including Aberdeen. Abingdon, Bel Air, Bowleys Quarters, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Edgewood, Essex, Lutherville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Perry Hall, Rosedale, Sparrows Point, Timonium, Towson, Westminster and White Marsh.
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