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Bowie Legal Issues Blog

What to expect at your relocation hearing

Last week, we discussed in broad terms what happens when one member of a divorced couple decides to move away and the couple has minor children in common. This week, we’ll delve into what happens in the event that the non-relocating ex-spouse does not agree to the relocation request: a court relocation hearing.

At the hearing, the court will examine the current custody arrangement—which was originally drafted with the best interest of the child in mind. If one parent is planning to move to a location far enough away that it would inhibit visitation or shared custody by the other parent, then the court must consider whether the move is in the best interest of the child. There is no precise formula to determine what is best for a child, but some factors the court might consider are:

If you move away from your ex and you have shared child custody

You just landed your dream job! The only problem is, it’s in Virginia Beach. That’s a long way from Baltimore, where, your son and your ex-husband currently live. How does your move affect your child custody arrangement?

Under Maryland law, you can’t just up and move without getting consent from your ex or the court. The first thing you need to do is give notice of your move. Under most circumstances, you have to give your ex-spouse and the court written notice of your relocation at least 90 days before your move. There are a couple exceptions to this rule: If you can demonstrate to the court that providing such notice would lead to harm to you or your child, it’s possible that this requirement may be waived. Additionally, the court may show some flexibility with the 90-day notice if your circumstances require you to move sooner than that, but you make a good-faith effort to give as much notice as possible.

Three common driving mistakes to avoid

We may be getting smarter as a species, but we’re not becoming any safer at driving. At least that’s what the data says. In 2015, the number of traffic deaths in the U.S. spiked by 8 percent—the biggest jump in half a century. By 2016, that statistic increased again, resulting in more than 40,000 traffic fatalities. As 2017 draws to a close, let’s take some proactive steps to being safer on the road.

Traffic accidents are usually the result of human error, but which driving errors most frequently result in accidents? In this week’s post, we examine the three most common instigators of car accidents.

Landmark case to define child support rights in same-sex divorce

The Hawaii Supreme Court is currently considering a case that raises the question of how consent to having a child is determined in same-sex marriage, as well as the implications of this determination on parental rights. It represents the first Supreme Court case in the country addressing the issue of child support for same-sex couples.

The case involves a lesbian couple that was married in 2013. Between January and September of 2015, one member of the couple was deployed on military duty. While she was away, her then wife got pregnant. After returning from military duty, the woman filed for divorce and sought to relinquish her parental rights.

Tips for avoiding distracted driving

Distraction on the road can have serious consequences. A mere moment of losing focus at a critical time can lead to an accident and serious injury.

While you obviously cannot guarantee yourself a ride completely free of any distraction whatsoever, you can take steps to minimize the chances of your attention wandering. Advance planning to avoid distraction can make your commute much safer.

How distractions lead to car accidents

It is not uncommon for you to see people texting and driving when you are on the streets in Bowie. It happens so often that you probably think you can do it, too. As boring and tiresome as driving can be, it is not worth risking your life or the lives of others because of distractions. You should avoid distractions and pay attention to the roads and traffic around you. 

Each year, the number of motorists who die in car accidents where distractions are a factor increases. In order to drive your vehicle safely, you must have your eyes on the roads and hands on the steering wheel. When you use distractions, you cannot drive safely. Each day you make through traffic to your destination without incident is one where you were fortunate. Here is a brief overview of how dangerous distractions are.

Will Maryland eliminate parental rights for rapists?

The Maryland Senate is poised to pass some landmark legislation early next year—which many say is long overdue. The proposed bill has failed nine times before, but this time, members of the General Assembly are optimistic that the bill has built up sufficient support to pass. The subject of the bill: paternal rights for rapists.

It could be said that Maryland is behind the times when it comes to developing laws surrounding rapists’ paternal rights. It is one of only six states with no official law on the subject. Under the proposed legislation, a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape would not be forced to give any parental rights to her attacker. Regardless of whether the attacker is convicted, the rape victim can expunge his parental rights.

A new way out of marriage in Maryland: mutual consent divorce

In a recent law that was enacted in Maryland, couples seeking to dissolve their marriage now have a quicker option: mutual consent divorce. Under the terms of this amendment, couples have an easier way of divorcing amicably without extended waiting periods.

Under the previous law, divorce could be a fast process for marriages in which one spouse committed serious offenses—such as adultery, cruel treatment, or excessively vicious conduct—against their partner. Understandably, the court determined that a spouse in a potentially dangerous partnership should be able to dissolve their marriage as quickly as possible.

How do I pay child support in Maryland?

If you've been ordered to pay child support in Maryland, here are the basic steps for submitting payment:

If you're employed

If you are employed, Maryland law requires you to pay child support through wage garnishment. This is to say that the amount you owe for child support will automatically be deducted from your paycheck and redirected to your child's custodian.

3 crucial steps to take before divorcing in January of 2018

If you are planning to file for divorce as soon as 2018 hits, you are not alone. According to Time Magazine, January is one of the most common months for people to split up. If you are dead-set on making 2018 the year you become single again, you should do some preparing before you officially announce your divorce. 

Divorce can be expensive, and the costs can blindside you if you jump into it without preparation. Here are some things you should accomplish before you tell your spouse you want out. 


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