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Divorce and visitation (MD)

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Latest post Wed, May 3 2017 10:57 AM by ca19lawyer2. 6 replies.
  • Mon, May 1 2017 11:23 AM

    • surlygirly
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    Divorce and visitation (MD)

    A friend of mine is in the process of trying to divorce her husband. They were married for about 4 years, there are no assets to divide. She has 2 elementary school age children - he is not their biological father, and he did not legally adopt them (as their actual biological father is still a very active part of their lives). Friend's ex says that he will not sign the divorce paperwork until they talk about visitation, and is now claiming that he's going to take her to court over the issue. Does he have a leg to stand on? A large part of the reason she left was his treatment of her and the kids, which (theoretically) she can back up in court with information from the therapist the children were seeing, but she doesn't really have the money for a lawyer and was hoping to resolve this without one.

    All occuring in the state of Maryland.

  • Mon, May 1 2017 12:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Divorce and visitation (MD)

    For starters, your friend's husband is not obligated to sign anything.  While most divorces are resolved by some sort of settlement agreement, not all are.

    As far as your friend's husband obtaining visitation over her kids, a very quick and cursory google search suggests Maryland law would allow a stepparent to obtain visitation if he is a "de facto parent," which means someone with whom the legal parent has consented to and fostered a relationship with the child, who has lived with the child, who has performed parental functions for the child to a significant degree, and with whom the child has forged a bond over time.  If those criteria are met, the court will consider visitation if it is in the child's best interests.

  • Mon, May 1 2017 2:27 PM In reply to

    • CJ
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    Re: Divorce and visitation (MD)

    During my divorce, my ex would tell me all the time that he wasn't going to sign a darn thing.  He was clueless of the process and didn't realize I didn't need his signature on anything inorder to make it final.  My guess is your friends husband is also assuming incorrectly.  

    As for visitation, if the bio dad is in the picture and a therypist can back up the fact that visitation would not be in the best interest of the child then I would advise your friend to plug her ear and keep moving forward.  Sometimes people say things that they know will hurt or frighten someone in order to control their actions.  I bet he's just trying to mess with her head.  Nothing like being married to a jerk to make you want out even faster. 

  • Mon, May 1 2017 3:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Divorce and visitation (MD)

    He has zero rights to the kids. He likely will not get anywhere. I hope she is more careful on bringing men around usually a step parent or boyfriend will not treat the kids like their own and that is kind of sad. I hope he was not too awful to them.

  • Wed, May 3 2017 12:08 AM In reply to

    • broevan222
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    Re: Divorce and visitation (MD)

    Maryland law specifically declares that it is in the best interests of children to mediate resolutions of parental disputes regarding custody. In cases where the custody of a child is in dispute, the Court may order the parents to attempt to mediate that issue, unless there is a history of physical or sexual abuse of the child. [Maryland Rules, Rule 9-205].

  • Wed, May 3 2017 7:58 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
      Lawyer
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    • Joined on Sat, Dec 9 2000
    • NV
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    Re: Divorce and visitation (MD)

    I wonder how MD courts would look at this when it is not his child.

  • Wed, May 3 2017 10:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Divorce and visitation (MD)

    broevan222:
    Maryland law specifically declares that it is in the best interests of children to mediate resolutions of parental disputes regarding custody. In cases where the custody of a child is in dispute, the Court may order the parents to attempt to mediate that issue, unless there is a history of physical or sexual abuse of the child. [Maryland Rules, Rule 9-205].

    True, but irrelevant since the subject of the thread involves a dispute between a parent and a STEPparent.  The only issue here is whether the stepfather can obtain visitation with (not custody of) his wife's child.

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