December 2011 Archives

Common child custody pitfalls

As courts in Maryland and other states increasingly begin to favor joint child custody arrangements, it has become easier for parents to win partial custody. While judges nearly always ruled in favor of mothers in the past, most now make their decisions based on which custody option serves the best interest of the child in question. One study found that fathers trying to secure primary child custody are successful around 50 percent of the time. However, experts say there are still major mistakes parents frequently make that put them at risk for losing custody.

Activists call for right to counsel in child custody cases

Legal advocates and activists are calling on state and federal governments to adopt laws that would provide individuals in civil cases with rights similar to those granted in criminal cases. The U.S. Constitution guarantees legal representation to criminal defendants that cannot afford an attorney. Now, some people are pushing for a similar system for civil and non-criminal cases, such as those regarding child custody. If it were to happen, it would be a landmark change in civil law in the United States.

Man wins back child support following DNA test

In a case that some in Maryland can likely relate to, a court has ordered that an Australia man be repaid approximately $13,000 in child support after a DNA test proved that he was not the father of his ex-wife's son. He secretly took a paternity test after his wife expressed doubt that he was the boy's father, reportedly claiming that the man and his supposed son did not resemble each other at all.

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