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I live in Maryland and am having legal issues with my

Hello! I live in...

Hello! I live in Maryland and am having legal issues with my daughters biological father. He is not on her birth certificate but she has his last name (different from mine as we were never married). My fiancé and I have always let him see her and be a part of her life but recently her father has been trying to claim false accusations about our care for her. He found out we kiss and hug her goodnight so he is trying to get CPS involved for molestation charges against my fiancé. I’m a registered nurse, my fiancé works for the department of defense and has a clearance. This could ruin our life and our daughters. We would like full custody and to keep her until a custody agreement is established. Are we allowed to keep her from him even though he’s been an active part of her life?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in MD family court?

We have spoken to a lawyer in the past about gaining custody, but he said since her dad plays an active role we wouldn’t be able to get custody. No papers have been filed

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?

We have an appointment Friday but would really like to get the ball rolling since he has told us he’s already called CPS. I would rather not have her go to his house, he is supposed to be with her tomorrow

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Her father has a criminal history and an established pattern of disrespectful parenting. He works for a law firm so we think their might be a conflict of interest should we go to court

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Answered in 24 minutes by:
3/27/2018
N.Brown ESQ
N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 156
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Right now both parents have joint legal custody of the child so you aren't "allowed" to keep her from him, but absent a court order there's noting that either of you can act on. If you don't file for custody, your action of not allowing him to see the child could push him to file for custody. It does not really matter who files for custody, first.

With respect to the potential custody determination. Generally, both parents would be granted joint legal custody. One parent would be granted physical custody (where the child will live) and the other parent will have visitation. Unless there is some evidence that one parent is unfit, then this is likely going to be the custody orders. Unfortunately, disrespectful behavior may not rise to the level for him to be considered unfit. I don't know what his criminal history is, but unless there's a history of domestic violence between the parties and or child that may not play into the court's consideration of his fitness either.

His working for a law firm probably won't cause a conflict of interest. Worst case scenario would be if the judge presiding over the case has or had some relationship with his law firm, then that judge may recuse him or herself from the case. If that happened it would just be assigned to another judge. You shouldn't expect him to get any special treatment because of his employment in a law firm.

I am sorry that you are doing though this ordeal with your child's father. Please let me know if there is anything else you want to discuss. I would be happy to continue this conversation. If so just reply to this response. If you are satisfied with this response, please Accept the answer and provide a rating. Doing so costs you nothing extra. Experts are independent contractors and customer ratings are the only way we are compensated for the time reviewing and responding to questions as we are not employees of the site. You may also get a request for a telephone call, but that is from the site and not the experts. I hope your legal issue works out to your satisfaction.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I’m sorry for the confusion, but we both have joint custody even though he is not on her birth certificate? I thought in Maryland custody went to the mother of the parties are unmarried and there is no name on the birth certificate? I don’t want to look badly be keeping her, we’ve always wanted to play fair. But he is calling CPS on my fiancé saying he is molesting her which is a 100% false accusation (he found out we hug and kiss our daughter before bed while tucking her in). I don’t believe there is a penalty for filing a false CPS claim in MD, but it might destroy my fiancé’s career. We are so worried and do not know what to do

I understand that you disapprove of his actions in calling CPS, but considering he has been involved in the child's life your decision to deny him access for this reason will likely make the situation more volatile. If there is an open line of communication let him know that both parent's are important in your child's life and that his action of a frivolous claim to CPS can negatively impact on of the parent's lives because of your occupation. His actions may be retaliatory or he might be trying to force your hand, I don't know. Just that if there's a way to resolve it between you to, that should be sought first, but obviously if there's not communication and no willingness to work together then filing for custody to get specific orders may be the only option.

With regard to the CPS claims, if you haven't you both should check with your employer's to find out how a cps claim will impact you, and how it's dealt with if CPS claim is determined to be unfounded.

N.Brown ESQ
N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 156
Experience: Attorney
Verified
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