Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight
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I am very sorry for your situation.Is this a large enough change in circumstance to be heard by the court?
The question may be better asked as: Is this a large enough change in circumstance to qualify for modification
Now she can file for a modification and it will be heard by the Court. However, just because she claims
it is does not make it so, automatically. The Court may disagree.
Modification is only granted if:
1) there is a material
change in circumstance, and
2) it is in the best interest of the child
Even if true, are her accusations material change of circumstance? Not likely. First, unless a material change of circumstances is found to exist, the court's inquiry ceases. In this context, the term "material" relates to a change that may affect the welfare of a child. McCready v. McCready, 323 Md. 476, 593 A.2d 1128 (1991).
"If, however, in respect to the previously known circumstances the evidence of change is not strong enough, i.e., either no change or the change itself does not relate to the child's welfare, there can be no further consideration of the best interest of the child because, unless there is a material change, there can be no consideration given to a modification of custody. The threshold — but not paramount — issue is the existence of a material change..." Wagner v. Wagner, 109 Md. App. 1 - Md: Court of Special Appeals 1996
"The guiding principle of any child custody decision, whether it be an original award of custody or a modification thereof, is the protection of the welfare and best interests of the child." Shunk v. Walker, 87 Md. App. 389, 396, 589 A.2d 1303 (1991) (citing, inter alia, Queen v. Queen, 308 Md. 574, 587, 521 A.2d 320 (1987), and Skeens v. Paterno, 60 Md. App. 48, 61, 480 A.2d 820, cert. denied, 301 Md. 639, 484 A.2d 274 (1984)
Frankly, a parent being "mean" to a child is most often NOT seen as material unless she may have a psychiatrist testify that the "abuse" is hurting them severely. But in any case, the Court is much more likely to simply order parenting classes (if anything) if the Court believes there is a need, but very unlikely to curtail custody or make it supervised based on unconfirmed allegations of "putting the child down." That simply is not enough for material change in circumstances in most cases.
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