Archive | Parental Abduction

Over 80% of All Abducted Children Were Removed by a Parent or Other Relative

Abucted Children | On The Run With Your Child?

On The Run With Your Child in Frederick Maryland?

80% of all abducted children were abducted by a parent or other family member

As a custody lawyer in Frederick County Maryland, I have often experienced this phenomenon.

When Good Parents Turn Bad

Some are of those involved are bad people.

People who are angry.

People so angry that they would spite the ex by attempting to eliminate him or her from the child’s life. Some are keeping the child to conceal evidence of a crime such as abuse or neglect. Some are mentally ill and/or addicted to drugs or alcohol that clouds there judgment.

Many are well intentioned parents but are simply unable work out their problems any other way.

Fleeing With Your Child Can Cause Real Problems

These things don’t happen in a vacuum. A parent who does not have a custody lawyer may be frustrated by the system. Frustrated by his or her inability to show the court that they are a superior parent.

Frustrated by the inability to demonstrate what is in the child(ren’s) best interest or by an inability to satisfy the legal standard of proof. I have heard a Frederick County custody lawyer tell his client that “the truth in a courtroom is what you can prove, not what you know to be true.

Faced without hope; a parent may flee. Now what?

Like so many other problems running away does not help. A parent who remains in the home state of the child can obtain an order or judgment in-abstencia. Custody lawyers call that “ex-parte” which is Latin for “without the other side.”

Claire on her bike

After the abandoned parent obtains such an order the parent who has fled the home state will have real problems.

Maybe even criminal problems arising from violation of the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. Then the custody court may cast a very jaundiced eye at the parent who fled. This is not an enviable position.

As a custody attorney in Frederick, I have seen with my own eyes a parent who fled the state to protect her children from an abuser only be required to return the child to him because of her poor choice to flee.

All of the foregoing is not intended to mean that you cannot take your child (or children) out of state.

You can do so unless there is an order or agreement to the contrary, but…. Any Frederick County custody lawyer will tell you: First, try to obtain an agreement before you move. If you are moving only one or two hours away or less it may have no impact on your arrangement. 

You may have to eat the travel time for awhile but as long as the other parent gets the same times, there is usually a “no harm, no foul” situation.

Easter 2010 with my kids in Frederick Md

If you move so far away that airfare is required, you will have to modify your old agreement significantly.

You may want to have the school year with parent A and summer and other school breaks to parent B.

Second, if you can’t agree file…file…file.

In almost all civil actions who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant is immaterial. In my experience, moves that require a modification of the custody/visitation schedule are an exception. Filing first tells the court that you know the right thing to do and you are willing to do it!

Family Law in Frederick Maryland

Timothy Conlon

OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7

CALL US NOW AT 301-865-1101

The Custody Place

19 NORTH COURT STREET
FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701

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Moving With Your Child

“I have custody (or joint custody) can he/she stop me from moving?”

In the field of custody law, we are often faced with this question

The answer like so many things is “it depends.”  In law school, every time a member of the class asks the professor a question, his answer is invariably “it depends.”  This is a frustrating answer for law
students wanting a straight answer.  After years of legal practice, I have subsequently learned that “it depends,” is a straight answer!

The courts cannot “keep” you from moving, because it would be unconstitutional.

 What the courts can do is keep you from moving with the child, or require that you return with the child after the fact.


This is predicated on the notion that if you move you are probably disturbing the status quo.  What? You say you have no “status quo?
Well, you do.  For custody purposes, the status quo is an amount of time the child spends with the other parent.  It can range from chaos;  such as playing it by ear, day in, day out, to working under a court
order that spells out the days and times in a highly regimented fashion.

When you disturb that status quo, the court will want to know why.

  •  Do you have to move for employment?
  • Are you moving to be closer with your extended family at a difficult time either emotionally or financially?
  •  Did you meet the man or woman of your dreams on the internet and you just have to move for true love?

The answer will be a factor for the court to consider.  If your disturbance to the status quo makes following a court order impracticable or impossible, you need to give the court as much advance notice as possible.  If you wait until the last minute to advise your ex of your moving, you better have found out at the last minute yourself.  If you have joint legal custody or shared physical custody, that ups the legal ante.
Typically, a move is not the end of the world for you or your ex.  If you move within fifty miles and you agree to bear the burden this transportation takes upon the status quo, it probably won’t effect
your custody.  If you move somewhere so far that the visitation arrangement must change, you need to come to the court with a plan.

Custody court is a place where losers don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.  If you move so far that transportation is only possible monthly or quarterly, be prepared to have one parent take the school year and one parent take the summer.  The court is even likely to do something as simple as adding  up the days each parent would have had before the move and putting a plan in place that works out to roughly the same.

What you really need to do if you are a single or divorcing parent, planning a move, is consult a custody lawyer or research carefully.
Even which state or foreign country will decide any dispute about your move is a huge legal question.  Don’t listen to what your friend said or what you found on the internet.  This question can potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars, months and months of court, or even possibly get you in the slammer.

If you must move, try to talk about it with the other parent and make arrangements that will make the best of a potentially bad situation.  Any Judge will tell you that “if a decision makes both parents feel like they did not get everything they wanted…. it was probably the best decision that could have been made.”

OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7

CALL US NOW AT 301-865-1101

The Custody Place

19 NORTH COURT STREET
FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701

 

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