The right legal counsel can help you in ways that will make navigating laws and procedures regarding child custody easier, keeping your child away from too much stress, anxiety, and conflict. There are several ways that your case could go wrong, especially if you have limited knowledge of the law. Mistakes in procedures can have a large negative impact on your case. Even if you have all the right and significant evidence to present in court, it just takes one misstep or mistake regarding procedural law for your evidence to be thrown out.
Timing Arguments Impact on Custody Cases
There is a recent case that shows a good example. A few years ago, there was a Maryland custody case where the parents agreed to joint custody. However, a few months after the agreement was reached, the judge ordered that the father will receive sole legal and physical custody of the child. This was because the mother was involved in misconduct by refusing the father his rights to visitation. The mother was relegated to having daily contact through video chat. A few months afterwards, the mother petitioned the court and requested to modify the terms of the custody agreement. She claimed that the father should not be given primary or sole legal and physical custody of the child because he failed to execute her daily contact with the child through video chat. However, the court found no evidence of any tangible or material circumstantial change and any willful or intentional violations of the court’s orders by the father. Lacking these two factors or conditions, the court refused the mother child custody modification.
The mother then appealed the case, claiming that the court made a mistake awarding the father primary legal and physical custody of their child, without mentioning its refusal to grant her modification of custody. In her argument, she committed a huge gap or mistake in procedural law. She did not argue about the errors made in a direction or order she was trying to challenge. The gist of her argument was that the judge had made a mistake awarding primary legal and physical custody of the child to the father. The issue here was that the time period in which it was allowed for her to challenge the court’s ruling had since passed.
Maryland state has stringent rules regarding the time period you could rightfully challenge or appeal a judge’s order
Maryland rules that anyone can appeal a judge’s order within thirty days of the ruling. The mother’s appeal in this case was filed more than the allowed thirty days from the time the trial court had issued its ruling on custody. Although her argument regarding the error of the judge to award sole legal and physical custody of the child to the father could have been fair and appropriate, procedural law of Maryland states that the appeals court could not rule in the mother’s favor. Mistakes in procedural law can cost a parent a lot. Generally in life, you may not want to focus too much on the smallest details. However, this does not apply when dealing with the law and its procedures. Because the big picture consists of your life with your family and that of your child, every piece of the legal and procedural puzzle counts. Please be sure that you have the best legal representation there is, particularly those with knowledge and experience with family law case issues including the finest and significant details that could either make or break your case. Contact us today to speak with one of our Maryland family law attorneys so we can get started helping you with your case.