Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, P.A.

Catonsville, Maryland, Legal Blog

Want to keep your kids? Consider keeping a diary

If you look strictly at statistics, you'll find that mothers in Maryland tend to get the child custody award when push comes to shove. If you read between the lines, however, you'll realize that this is largely due to the fact that mothers tend to spend more time caring for their children than fathers do. Courts usually seek to award primary custody to the primary caretaker in custody battles.

This is certainly not true in all cases. In many situations, fathers spend an equal amount of time -- if not more time -- than mothers do caring for their children. In order to prove this fact in court, and receive either the 50-50 or full child custody award that they want, fathers may need to prove their involvement in court. This can be achieved well with a child care diary or child care journal.

Car accidents, wrongful death and criminal law

Imagine for a moment that a Maryland mother loses her husband in a tragic car accident. After police investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, they realize that the man who struck the woman's husband was drunk. Authorities arrest the at-fault driver, charge him with vehicular homicide, DUI and other crimes -- which the diver must now face in criminal court.

The mother who lost her husband is left with the choice of pursuing a wrongful death action against the at-fault driver. It will therefore be important that she understands the difference between a criminal lawsuit and a civil lawsuit.

Stay kind when kids are involved in your divorce

People don't get married without thinking the union is going to last forever. However, about 20 percent of couples who get married end up getting a divorce inside the first five years. Another 48 percent of people break up before 20 years have passed.

In a lot of cases, couples do not break up peacefully, and this can leave you feeling horrible, stressed, and it can make your divorce process last longer and cost more. It can also affect your children in a negative way.

How you know the time is right for a divorce

There are probably a million different things running through your head when you start to contemplate a divorce. Have you waited long enough? Does what has happened between you and your spouse really mean it's time for a divorce? Should you give up on your marriage, or will waiting it out really make things better?

There are so many questions that only you can answer, but there are some easy ways to tell if you should start looking into a divorce. These signs are standard among most people who get a divorce.

Pedestrian versus car accident claims Maryland teenager's life

A 15-year-old pedestrian was killed in a car accident that happened in Hebron. According to police, the incident took place on Monday, Aug. 14, at approximately 9:30 p.m. along Route 50. Police say that their preliminary investigations reveal the teenage boy ran into the street, stumbled and got hit by a car. However, they have yet to issue a final report.

The injured boy was rushed to Peninsula Regional Medical Center after emergency responders arrived on scene. Doctors, however, were unable to save his life and he was later pronounced dead at the medical facility. Authorities do not suspect that the deceased boy or the driver were using drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.

Short term emergencies and temporary child support modifications

What if you suffer a sudden heart attack, get into a car accident or get hurt in some way that prevents you from being able to work and earn a living? The condition is only temporary and you expect to be back on your feet in a couple of months; however, you're unable to make money to pay your child support. What should you do?

If you're unable to pay your child support due to an extreme health circumstance that is out of your control -- but temporary -- you need to take action immediately. If you file the appropriate papers with the court, and sufficiently support your reasoning, you may be able to get a temporary change to your child support obligations.

Parenting provisions: Supporting parent-child relationships

Parenting provisions are special agreements and special language that parents can include in their child custody agreements. These provisions offer further solidification and clarity as to specific areas of interest of the parents in relation to the way they will be raising their children together.

Parenting provisions are commonly included in child custody agreements, so Maryland parents may want to brush up on the types of provisions they may wish to agree to. In this article, we will look at the inclusion of a provision to solidify how the parents will support a healthy and beneficial child-parent relationship. Parents may wish to include a child-parent relationship provision to ensure that the parents do not complain or badmouth about each other.

  • Here's some language you might want to include in a child-parent relationship provision:
  • The parents will not permit others or themselves to negatively comment about the other parent. Nor will the parents negatively comment about the other parent's current or past relationships, friends or family within earshot of the child.
  • The parents will encourage affection and love among the children in relation to the other parent. Both parents will permit and allow the children to express how much they love the other parent.
  • The parents will not encourage, suggest or demand that the children call another person "dad" or "mom." Nor will they permit another individual to do so.
  • The parents will not unreasonably ask the children about the other parent's activities.
  • The parents will permit the children to have gifts provided by the other parent and will not take give them away or destroy them without first obtaining consent from the other parent.

How to keep a child custody visitation journal

A lot of different kinds of family law disputes can arise after you have finalized your divorce agreement and parenting plan. The other parent, for example, might accuse you of not fulfilling your parental responsibilities. The other parent might say that you aren't a fit parent and try to take your child custody rights away from you. This is a terrifying circumstance, but if you're appropriately prepared, you may have a better chance of winning such a challenge.

Although challenges to custody don't happen very often after a finalized divorce agreement or child custody decree, the parents who have diligently maintained a parenting journal could potentially weather these them better than the ones who don't. Here's what kinds of notes you should include in a parenting journal:

  • Times when you the other parent was late picking up or dropping off your child.
  • Canceled or missed child custody visits.
  • Times you took your child to health appointments and relevant notes about medical information relating to those appointments.
  • Information concerning discussions with the other parent.
  • The mood and emotions of your child while he or she is spending time with the other parent.
  • The behavior of your child.
  • Pending information that should be discussed with the other parent.
  • The progress of your child in school and while participating in other activities.
  • Developmental milestones of your child.
  • Important notes that you don't want to forget concerning your child.

Child custody disputes and how keeping a diary helps

If you're in the throes of a child custody dispute, you may want to take the following advice to defend your custody rights in court: Keep a diary of all your parenting activities.

When ruling on matters relating to child custody, Maryland family law courts will weigh the past parenting activities of the parents heavily in their decision-making. For example, if your spouse was the one who took care of nearly all of your child's needs, by driving the child to school, feeding him or her, reading bedtime stories and so on, the court may be inclined to award physical custody to your spouse instead of you. As such, you may want to keep a log of the parenting activities you participate in every day.

45-year-old mother dies in tragic car crash

When it comes to staying safe on the road, Maryland drivers often do everything they can to prevent getting into a collision, and to keep their families safe. However, fatal and injurious crashes happen despite our best efforts, and their aftereffects can send shockwaves through the community.

In one recent incident, Olney, Maryland, was the scene of a fatal car crash late last month. A 51-year-old man was driving in a 2012 Honda with his 45-year-old wife and their 13-year-old daughter at approximately 10 a.m. They were heading westbound when the driver of a 2015 Ford Mustang struck them.

What Our Clients' Say

  • "From the very first time I met with Kevin, I felt that I had someone on my side that would fight for my daughter – just as hard as I would."

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