Frequently Asked Questions

Maryland Third Party Custody – What is parental unfitness?

Maryland Third Party Custody – What is parental unfitness?

Updated:  January 2021 Third party custody is one of the fastest developing areas of Maryland law, seeing many major changes since 2016.  This series of articles explores these developments and raises questions about where this area of the law is heading. This series...

Customizing Your Case – Parenting Time Schedules

Customizing Your Case – Parenting Time Schedules

This post expands on earlier posts:  What is Child Custody?,  Customizing Your Case – Physical Custody & Parenting Time, and Customizing Your Case - Legal Custody. Physical custody involves where a child lives, when a child spends time...

Customizing Your Case – Legal Custody

Customizing Your Case – Legal Custody

This post expands on earlier posts:  What is Child Custody? and Customizing Your Case – Physical Custody & Parenting Time Legal custody involves decisions about health, education, and religious upbringing of a child.  It is also called decision...

At What Age Can A Child Choose With Which Parent to Live?

At What Age Can A Child Choose With Which Parent to Live?

In short, at no age does a child in Maryland get to choose to live with a parent. As long as a child is under the age of 18, a child does not have a legal right to decide where or with whom he or she will live. A few laws give children rights at certain ages, but...

Customizing Your Case – Physical Custody & Parenting Time

Customizing Your Case – Physical Custody & Parenting Time

This post expands on an earlier post:  What is Child Custody? Physical custody involves where a child lives, when a child spends time with each parent, and any conditions.  Physical custody is also called residential custody or parenting time.  It...

What is Child Custody?

What is Child Custody?

In Maryland, child custody has two main parts:  physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody involves where a child lives, when a child spends time with each parent, and any conditions.  Physical custody is also called residential custody or...

Why Don’t All Mediators Draft Settlement Agreements?

Why Don’t All Mediators Draft Settlement Agreements?

There are two camps of mediators: those who draft agreements and those who don't. For those who don't, they draft a list of settlement terms for the parties to take to their own (separate) attorneys to draft. For those who do, these fall into two further camps: -...

A Contract by Any Other Name…Still a Contract

A Contract by Any Other Name…Still a Contract

Many family law matters settle. Using many different settlement methods. Whatever settlement method is used, the parties need to get from a shared understanding of the settlement terms to a document confirming those terms. In many cases, this requires a contract, so...

Is Mediation a Substitution for Attorney Representation?

Is Mediation a Substitution for Attorney Representation?

Short answer: No. More and more, I see mediation framed as a "one-stop" solution for couples who want to resolve their family matters. However, mediation is not the same as being represented by an attorney. These are two different - but complimentary - roles that when...

Parents, Children & Reunification

Parents, Children & Reunification

Last week, I participated in a fascinating, multidisciplinary roundtable discussion about the challenges professionals face in reunification cases. Specifically, when a parent wishes to establish a parent-child relationship when there is none and when a child refuses...