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 modify child custody awards when there is a sufficient basis to seek modification based on the a material welfare of the minor child or children. Based on experience and the law, we do not file child support modifications just because a particular client did not like the result. If you are considering seeking a modification of custody, it is essential that you obtain a professional opinion about whether there has been a material change in circumstances since the entry of the last Final Custody Order. The fact that a child has grown older or the parties still cannot agree about anything (when they never could) is usually not a strong basis for seeking a modification under Maryland law. This law firm also helps parents defend status quo custody arrangements. The practice area of custody modification requires a deep understanding about the law. The custody modification process will trigger a full judicial process including screening at the Scheduling Conference by social services in 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 reconsidering the prevailing custody order. So many child custody modifications are denied because not enough has happened. Perhaps 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, then you need to consider what has changed. In certain instances, an action to modify child support can be filed by Susan Engle Parks and the Baltimore County Office of Children Support enforcement.
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 a Material Change in Circumstances
Before filing a Complaint to Modify Custody, it is helpful to develop a coherent theory of the case with a skilled attorney who can assist in overcoming the evidentiary threshold to establish that there has been a material change in circumstances.
- The existing physical custody schedule has resulted in academic and/or disciplinary problems at school or unnecessary challenges reflected on the report cards, academic profess reports, school attendance records and which witnesses, including teachers, assistant teachers, principals, vice-principals and guidance counselors who are familiar with case. 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. Wherever possible, this should be supported by certified business records obtained form a third-party deponent through a deposition duces tecum.
- Remarriage of the relocating parent. In matters that involve remarriage, the new spouse may become a major part of the ongoing litigation and there will probably be analysis of the quality of the relationship between the minor child or children and the new spouse.
- Providing the minor child with material opportunities like a better neighborhood, better schools, access to good summer camps and after-school extracurricular activities.
- Providing the minor child with educational opportunities. This can be especially important in matters where the minor child or children is approaching high school. We are familiar with the different high schools in Baltimore County including Dulaney High School, Dulaney High School, Loch Raven High School, Milford Mill Academy, Parkville High School, Pikesville High School, and such.
- Providing the minor child with closer relationships with extended family including grandparents and step-siblings.
- 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 that can be established based on psychological evidence including, where possible, supporting testimony from an expert witness.
- 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 which usually occur at the homes of the parties or the County Courts Building in Towson.
- 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 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 for the purpose of deciding whether you want to retain Amar S. Weisman. The firm does not accept pro bono clients at this time. To retain 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 a number of out-of-state clients. The law firm does not guarantee the results in any matter.
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