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child custody

Feb 13, 2023

Judiciary opposes bill to set requirements for child custody evaluators

Legislation to require court-appointed child custody evaluators to have specialized education and experience with abused children drew opposition from the Maryland Judiciary.

Nov 28, 2022

Don’t confuse ‘de facto parenthood’ with ‘exceptional circumstances,’ court says

An adult cannot be deemed a child's 'de facto parent' unless both legal parents consent – regardless of how neglectful they might have been, appeals court says.

Nov 18, 2021

Maryland Court of Special Appeals sets limits on civil contempt

People cannot be held in civil contempt for having violated a court order if they have come into compliance with it and intend to remain so, Maryland’s second-highest court ruled.

Jul 15, 2021

De facto parenthood requires both parents’ consent, Maryland high court says

An adult involved in raising a child cannot be a "de facto parent" with a claim to visitation unless both parents consented to relationship, high court says.

Apr 7, 2021

Parent cannot sue based on co-parent’s criticism, Md. appeals court says

One parent’s incessant and insulting criticism of the other to their child does not give rise to a compensable claim of intentional interference with parental relations by the criticized parent, even if the child does not want to visit him or her as a result, Maryland’s second-highest court ruled Wednesday in a battle between ex-spouses. […]

Aug 2, 2019

Md. appeals court: De facto parents may get attorney’s fees in custody cases

Adults so intimately connected to a child’s upbringing as to be de facto parents are eligible for attorney’s fees when their right to custody, visitation or support is challenged without substantial justification by another party, Maryland’s second-highest court has held. In its reported decision, the Court of Special Appeals also ruled Wednesday that a nonparent […]

Court of Appeals
Jul 19, 2018

Md. high court: Parental-termination judges should stick to statute

Judges in termination of parental rights cases must make sure their decisions are not clouded by considerations more appropriate for third-party child-custody disputes, such as the certainty of the youngster’s future with adoptive parents, Maryland’s top court ruled this week.

Apr 9, 2018

General Assembly passes bill extending mutual-consent divorce to parents

A bill to permit parents of minor children to divorce via agreement resolving all property, financial, custodial and visitation issues will head to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk.

Feb 20, 2018

The perfect storm: Why family cases should settle out of court

There are four main reasons why I encourage my clients to settle cases outside of court (especially in custody cases).

Court of Appeals
Oct 5, 2017

Md. court: Custody has no place in termination of parental rights rulings

Judges must refrain from child-custody considerations when determining whether a mother or father’s parental rights should be terminated based on “exceptional circumstances,” Maryland’s second highest court has ruled. In its 3-0 decision, the Court of Special Appeals overturned the termination of a father’s parental rights, saying a Baltimore city judge had inappropriately considered th[...]

Aug 30, 2017

Court eases parental-fitness standard in grandparents’ rights case

In a landmark family-law ruling, Maryland’s top court held Tuesday that grandparents seeking custody of a grandchild need show only by a preponderance of the evidence that the parent is unfit. In its decision, the Court of Appeals ruled unnecessary the harder-to-show standard of clear and convincing evidence of unfitness. The court’s relaxed standard appears […]

Court of Appeals
Jul 14, 2016

Md. court: Communication not a prerequisite for joint legal custody

A trial court can award joint legal custody to two parents even if they are found to be nearly incapable of communicating and reaching shared decisions about their children, Maryland’s top court has ruled. The Court of Appeals also found a trial court’s use of tiebreaking provisions granting one parent the final authority to make […]

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