Child custody battle sheds light on rights and responsibilities
In national news, a father has told media outlets that he is convinced that his son's disappearance is directly related to the court order granting him visitation. The man and his wife had been caught in a contentious child custody dispute and divorce.
Both sides accused the other of physically hurting their two children but they managed to agree upon a settlement that would allow the father some visitation.
The spouse and mother in the case suspiciously pulled out of the agreement two days prior to reporting her 2-year-old son missing. Local, state and federal authorities have been working on this case for the past few weeks. Criminal charges are expected in addition to the child custody ramifications.
In Maryland child custody cases, each parent is entitled to certain rights and responsibilities. Parents are entitled to create a visitation agreement or parenting plan. Maryland law allows for a variety of provisions in these agreements, which are designed to avoid complications in the future. If the parents are not cooperating, an experienced visitation agreement or child custody attorney can argue for the best possible visitation agreement for the particular spouse.
Child custody disputes can often be very difficult to resolve, and it is important for parents to work within the court system to assert their rights instead of merely assuming what the outcome of the case will be. It's also important to remember that mothers will not automatically receive custody just because of her gender. The notion that divorced Maryland fathers will need to pay child support without having custody rights is also false.
Source: ABC News, "Sky's Father Says Disappearance Linked to Custody Dispute," Katie Kindelan, Nov.14, 2011