Custody changes urged (access required)

The long-held presumption under Maryland law that divorced parents be given joint legal and shared physical custody of their children must be replaced with a clear focus on the best interest of the child, a state commission examining custody issues concluded in a report released Monday.

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Attacking the pro se problem

Sandy Rosenberg

State-funded attorneys would represent indigent parents in child custody disputes in Baltimore, Prince George’s County and the lower Eastern Shore under legislation likely to be proposed during the 2015 General Assembly session.

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Social Security in search of volunteer lawyers (access required)

Social Security Office

Dementia, developmental disabilities and other health issues make it impossible for millions of Social Security recipients to manage their own benefits. In those cases — more than 8 million a year — the Social Security Administration generally appoints a friend or family member to serve as the beneficiary’s “representative payee.” But in 21 percent of such cases there’s another problem: no friend or family member can be found. And, as the population ages, the agency expects the problem to get worse.

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We can work it out (access required)

Kathleen Wobber

A push for collaboration rather than litigation in divorce and child-custody cases gained steam last month when the Maryland Judiciary’s rules committee gave preliminary approval to a proposal spelling out attorneys’ responsibility before, during after a collaborative law process. The ...

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