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

Catonsville, Maryland, Legal Blog

Can you take the 'high road' in your divorce process?

There's one thing you can do to make your divorce process exponentially more peaceful. If you're not already doing it, you might want to sit down, get real with yourself and give the following a try: Have compassion for your soon-to-be ex. This may be a lot easier said than done, especially if your spouse is being difficult, saying hurtful things to you or coming at you with aggressive legal tactics. However, if you can -- at the very least -- avoid engaging in 'mudslinging' regardless of the behavior of your spouse, it will help you in your divorce.

The spouse who is more respectful, calm and reasonable in the divorce process tends to win the favor of the court. As such, as long as you're protecting your legal rights in a reasonable way -- without trying to get more than you justly deserve -- the court will view you in a more favorable light. In this way, doing your best to have compassion for your ex or to at least treat him or her respectfully will offer two potential benefits:

  1. It will decrease the likelihood of minor disagreements escalating into a contentious divorce that needs to be litigated in court.
  2. If your divorce does need to be litigated because your spouse is the one being difficult, it will improve the way the court views you and give an advantage during the litigation process.

4 things that could cause you to lose child custody

Before addressing the topic of losing child custody, there's something you should know. Even in extreme situations, you'll likely have the right to -- at the very least -- visit with your children in a supervised setting with a court-approved person present to watch over the visit. That is, if you have consistently shown interest in visiting with them and if you have consistently supported your children emotionally and financially. With that being said, here are a few circumstances that could cause you to lose your child custody and/or visitation rights:

Abandonment: If a parent doesn't show interest in being a part of a child's life and if a parent fails to financially support the child, the court could revoke the parent's parental rights and his or her legal status as a parent will be lost.

How do you obtain a child support modification?

You never know what the future will bring in regard to your finances, so there could come a point when you are no longer able to make your child support payments in full. If you find yourself in this position, you shouldn't wait a single day to learn more about obtaining a child support modification.

There is no guarantee that the court will grant a modification, but you'll never know if this is an option until you take the right steps.

Determining the best interests of the child: What courts consider

When it comes to deciding any question of child custody a Maryland court will not automatically seek to award custody to the mother. In fact, the court will default toward any decision that serves the best interests of the child.

Since the child is generally well-served when he or she can spend as much time as possible with both parents, courts may veer toward a joint parenting or co-parenting arrangement. However, if such an arrangement does not, for some reason, serve the child's best interests, the court will choose another strategy for divvying up child custody, parenting time and visitation rights.

Springtime driving risks and dangers to avoid

No matter what time of year it happens to be, the roads will present safety challenges. As for springtime, you have more people on the road enjoying the sun; you'll even see more wildlife coming out of hibernation. Add to this the fact that the roads could be wetter and slippier than normal and you can see why it's vital to be careful during the springtime months.

If you want to keep yourself and your family members -- as well as your fellow drivers and their passengers -- safe this springtime, be sure to review the following key pieces of advice carefully:

When you can’t be “yourself” around your spouse anymore

Do you feel like you can't be "yourself" around your spouse? Maybe you feel like you're always on guard and if you reveal how you actually feel about something, you'll get hit with a demeaning comment about why you're wrong. Subtle abuse from a spouse like this can cause you to regret it every time you reveal your desires and feelings.

Imagine you tell your spouse that you'd like to go out for pizza for a change instead of Chinese. Your spouse comes back with a barrage of reasons why you're wrong, why Chinese is better and you just can't convince him or her to go along with something you want for a change. Similarly, maybe you always wanted to take a trip overseas as a couple, but your spouse insists on keeping the two of you at home by telling you how you're always the one wanting to waste money on stupid, frivolous expenses.

Are rear-facing car seats the best for babies?

We've all seen the news reports and advertising claims on how rear-facing child car seats are the safest for young babies, but do these reports really add up? A recent investigation into the performance of rear-facing child seats put these car seats to the test in their performance in car crashes that happen from behind.

The effectiveness of rearward car seats has already been scientifically proven in side crashes and front crashes, but they hadn't been tested for rearward crashes. Considering that rear-impact collisions make up over 25 percent of all car crashes, it's important that parents understand how these seats perform in such incidents.

Maryland child custody law: Does it need to change?

In 2013, Maryland lawmakers organized a commission to determine whether state courts need to change the way they decide child custody cases. Over a period of 18 months, the commission convened to hear from family law lawyers, family court judges and mental-health workers to determine whether the current rules and legal practices lead to fair and appropriate family court decisions relating to child custody.

The commission issued its findings in 2014, and offered suggestions about how Maryland could improve its child custody decisions. As of 2018, the suggested legal reforms have yet to be made. This is largely because there is a great deal of disagreement, competing viewpoints and differing opinions about the findings of the commission and whether the suggestions are valid or appropriate.

Should I leave my family home without my kids?

When you're in the throes of marital arguments and disagreement -- and when you've decided to get a divorce -- the first thing you'll want to have is your own space. You may already be shopping for an apartment or a new house to purchase. In most situations, it's probably a good idea to move out as soon as possible, but if you have children with your soon-to-be ex, think again.

It's a very big mistake to move out of your home before you've filed for divorce and obtained temporary child custody arrangements. Usually, the spouse who moves out without the children will be at a disadvantage when it comes to any child custody disagreements.

How can I prevent a catastrophic motorcycle collision?

There's nothing better than feeling the wind against your cheeks while you're riding your favorite motorcycle through the countryside. Riding a motorcycle is addictive, and it keeps you coming back for more. That said, it's also dangerous, so motorcyclists need to do everything they can to avoid getting into a crash.

The following two pieces of advice are essential to motorcycle safety in this regard. Are you following these tips on your weekend rides?

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