Towson Child Custody Lawyer | Custody.Modification.
Top Baltimore County Child Custody Law Firm
- The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman focuses on assisting clients in obtaining modifications to child custody orders when there's a justifiable reason for the change, primarily based on the material welfare of the minor child or children involved. We adhere strictly to legal standards and do not pursue modifications merely because a client is dissatisfied with an existing custody arrangement.
- For instance, if Client C seeks to modify an existing Custody Order, our first step is to provide a professional assessment to determine whether a material change in circumstances has occurred since the last Final Custody Order was issued. Common but insufficient reasons for modification, such as the child aging or ongoing disagreements between parties that have always existed, are usually not strong grounds for seeking a change under Maryland law.
- Amar S. Weisman is also experienced in defending existing custody arrangements against challenges. Navigating the complexities of custody modification necessitates a nuanced understanding of the legal landscape. Initiating a modification will set off a series of judicial procedures, including a Scheduling Conference with social services, particularly when the case is in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.
Cautionary Note About Child Custody Modifications.
Starting with a word of caution: timing is critical in matters of child custody modification. The Court primarily focuses on two key dates: first, the date when the most recent child custody order, judgment, or parenting plan was established; and second, the date when a party files for modification. The crux of the issue lies in whether sufficient change has occurred between these two points in time to warrant a modification of the existing custody order. Regrettably, many attempts at modifying child custody fail because the changes are deemed insufficient by the Court. Often, these motions are filed because the party who did not prevail in the initial custody decision is dissatisfied with the outcome. It is not uncommon for motions to recycle the same grievances, especially when filed by the parent who lost the original custody case and is responsible for child support payments. Before you pursue a modification, it is imperative to assess what has materially changed since the last order. In specific circumstances, State agencies, such as Maryland's Department of Human Services and the Baltimore County Office of Child Support Enforcement, can initiate an action to modify child support obligations.
The Legal Standard for Custody Modifications in The State of Maryland.
Upon confirming that Baltimore County has jurisdiction over the children in accordance with Maryland Code, Family Law §9.5-203, Amar S. Weisman guides clients through the two-step process crucial for obtaining a custody modification: (1) Establishing a material change in circumstances, (2) Demonstrating that the material change significantly impacts the child's welfare.
Mr. Weisman seeks to assist the judge or magistrate in formulating a more beneficial custody arrangement aligned with the child's best interests. On occasion, this involves engaging a Best Interest Attorney to represent the minor child or children as per Maryland Code, Family Law §1-202.
Amar S. Weisman also has expertise in opposing custody modifications by presenting arguments such as: (1) No material change in circumstances has occurred, or if a change has happened, it doesn't materially affect the child's well-being. (2) The proposed modification would destabilize the children's lives by uprooting or disrupting the stability they require. (3) The parent seeking the modification is motivated by personal interests rather than the welfare of the children.
Establishing a Material Change in Circumstances
Before initiating a Complaint to Modify Custody, it's crucial to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law, especially when dealing with complex issues such as custody modifications. An attorney can help establish a compelling theory of the case to show that there has been a material change in circumstances that warrants revisiting the existing custody arrangement. Here are some key issues and supporting evidence that could be considered:
- Academic and Disciplinary Problems: If the current custody schedule has led to academic issues or behavioral problems at school, gather evidence such as report cards, attendance records, and conduct reports. Identify potential witnesses like teachers, principals, and counselors who can corroborate these claims. Take note of any recommendations from school staff.
- Change in Parent Work Schedules: If changes in either parent's work schedule have led to the child being unsupervised for extended periods or supervised by a non-biological parent, this could be grounds for modification.
- Unsafe Home Environment: If the child is exposed to an environment that may result in physical abuse or domestic violence, this is a serious concern. Determine whether the other parent has a documented history of abuse. Note the distinction between being reported to the Department of Social Services (DSS) and being found to have committed abuse.
- Alcohol or Substance Abuse: If the child develops substance abuse problems, consider whether this issue could stem from a lack of supervision or a lax home environment in the current custody setting. Gather medical records, police reports, or testimony from addiction specialists to support this claim.
- Interference with Visitation Rights: Substantial evidence of interference with visitation could be grounds for modification. Document instances where the custodial parent's attitude has hampered the child's ability to maintain a healthy relationship with the noncustodial parent.
In cases like these, each argument needs to be backed by credible evidence and pertinent witnesses to prove that a material change in circumstances has occurred, warranting a modification in the existing custody order.
Parental Relocation Away From Maryland And Custody Modification.
There are no b rules governing parental relocation. Parental relocation can in itself constitute a change in circumstances affecting the material well-being of the minor child. The m c for parental relocation will provide the Court with evidence that the l 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 noncustodial parent. The burden falls on the custodial parent to justify why the current custody arrangement is no longer workable. Upon establishing that the current s is no longer workable, there is a level playing field. A must present evidence that the client's proposed arrangements will serve the b's interests.
Common Reasons for Parental relocation include:
When a parent seeks to relocate, various factors come into play that may influence a court's decision to modify child custody arrangements. These factors can include:
Work/Employment Opportunities for the Relocating Parent: The court may consider the job prospects for the parent who is relocating. To by, it would be best for you to support these opportunities with certified business records obtained from a third-party deponent through a deposition duces tecum.
Remarriage of the Relocating Parent: If the parent who wishes to relocate has remarried, the new spouse could become a significant part of the ongoing custody litigation. The court is likely to evaluate the relationship between the minor child or children and the new spouse.
Material Opportunities for the Minor Child: The court may consider whether the move will provide the child with a better quality of life, such as residing in a superior neighborhood, attending better schools, or gaining access to quality summer camps and after-school extracurricular activities.
Educational Opportunities for the Minor Child: This factor gains importance especially when the child is approaching high school age. Familiarity with various high schools in Baltimore County, such as Dulaney High School, Loch Raven High School, Milford Mill Academy, Parkville High School, and Pikesville High School, can be beneficial in making the case.
Closer Relationships with Extended Family: If the move would bring the child into closer contact with extended family members, including grandparents and step-siblings, this could weigh in favor of relocation.
Health Reasons: Sometimes, relocating to a different climate can be beneficial for health reasons, and the court may consider this as well.
CONSIDERATIONS IN RELOCATION CASES
When evaluating a proposed relocation of a child in a child custody case in Baltimore County, the Circuit Court considers several factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child. These factors include:
- Purpose/Circumstances of Proposed Relocation: The court will assess the reasons behind the move from Baltimore County and how it aligns with the child's best interests.
- Intent of Relocating Parent: This includes an evaluation of whether the move is intended to distance the child from the other parent
- History of Parental Alienation: Any existing patterns of alienation will be looked at, supported where possible by psychological evidence and expert testimony.
- Litigation History: Previous legal battles between the parties can provide context for the current request for relocation.
- Allocation of Transportation Costs: The court may consider how travel costs for visitation will be managed and if the non-relocating parent should be compensated.
- Custody Evaluations: These are often ordered during the Scheduling Conference at the Circuit Court for Baltimore County and can provide valuable insights into the family dynamic.
- Parent Interviews: Typically conducted at the homes of the parties or the County Courts Building in Towson, these interviews gather information directly from the parents.
- Child Interaction: Observations of how the child interacts with each parent in a home setting can influence the court's decision.
- Investigation into Motives: The court will delve into the real reasons behind the proposed move to ensure that it serves the child's best interests.
- Custody Evaluation Presentation: This is where the findings of all evaluations are formally presented to the Court.
- Appointment of Child’s Attorney: In certain complex cases, the court may appoint an attorney specifically to represent the child's interests.
- Communication Breakdown: If there is a communication issue between the parents, the court will examine what steps have been taken to fix the problem. There is a general expectation that all parents will work to communicate effectively, regardless of who is at fault for the initial breakdown.
These factors collectively inform the court’s decision on whether to grant the relocation request, modify custody arrangements, or leave existing arrangements in place.
The Strategic Presentation of Evidence In The Circuit Court for Baltimore County.
In modification cases, court filings aim to succinctly and clearly convey why a change is essential. For contested child custody modifications, we meticulously gather evidence through discovery methods, including academic report cards, text message correspondence, emails, photographs, and mental health records. When it comes to legal custody, if communication breakdowns occur between co-parents, a shift to sole custody may become necessary. All cases are framed within the overarching principle of serving the minor child's best interests.
Call 410-321-4994 To Meet With Towson Divorce, Child Custody & Family Law Lawyer Amar S. Weisman.
Please Call (410) 321-4994 during business hours to schedule a free consultation t whether you want to retain Amar S. Weisman. The firm does not accept pro bono clients at this time. To h legal services and advice, you must pay a retainer, See Policy on Fees/Costs. The law firm is located in the heart of Towson near The Circuit Court For Baltimore County, Towson Town Center, Goucher College, and Towson University, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road (MD-146), Second Floor Towson, MD 21204. We represent clients throughout the Baltimore area, including Aberdeen, Abingdon, Baldwin, Bel Air, Bowleys Quarters, Brooklandville, Carney, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Edgewood, Essex, Garrison, Glen Arm, Greenspring Valley, Homeland, Hunt Valley, Hydes, the Joppa Road Corridor, Kingsville, Long Green, Lutherville, Middle River, Nottingham, Owings Mills, Parkville, Pikesville, Perry Hall, Reisterstown, Riderwood, Rodgers Forge, Rosedale, Ruxton, Sparks, Sparrows Point, Stoneleigh, Timonium, Towson, West Towson, White Hall, White Marsh, and the York Road corridor. We have also represented s out-of-state clients. The law firm does not guarantee the results in any matter.
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