Many relationships end naturally, and the parents can co-parent effectively for months and years with ease. Sometimes, without warning a parent severely restricts contact between the other parent and the child. The restricting parent may claim any number of erroneous reasons, but the restriction is often immediately following the other parent starting a new relationship, becoming engaged, or announcing the birth of another child.
New relationship custody punishment is generally not in the best interest of the child. It is more so a method of controlling and harming the mother or father that appears to be “moving on.” Often, the restricting parent may be in an intimate relationship, or have another child, but continue to punish the co-parent for any action that shows an attempt to grow beyond the confines of the restrictive parent’s expectations. When a parent will not allow custody because of a new relationship, it may abruptly turn an amicable co-parenting agreement into an all-out custody battle. A custody battle may make the situation worse for everyone involved.
When parental access of a child is restricted because of a new relationship in Maryland, they are attempting to alienate the co-parent from the child. The outcome of the custody dispute relies on a number of factors: including prior agreements and orders, prior abandonment, and whether the restricting parent has a legitimate reason for the restriction.
Protecting Your Parental Rights with a Custody and Visitation Order in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Prince George’s County, Maryland
You and your child’s father or mother may already have a custody and visitation agreement or order in place. A custody order is a legal court document that can be enforced by the courts. If a restricting parent will not allow custody because of a new relationship in Maryland, and violates a custody or visitation order, they can be held in civil contempt of court which carries serious consequences. In extreme cases, violating a custody order can even cause the restricting parent to lose or diminish their own custodial or visitation rights.
Protecting Your Parental Rights in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Prince George’s County, Maryland, without a Custody Order
Even without a custody order, you still have parental rights. You and the restricting parent may have made an informal written or verbal agreement as to access and custody prior to the restriction. If a parent will not allow custody because of a new relationship in Maryland, he or she will have to prove to the court that there is a legitimate reason for the abrupt restriction on the co-parent and that the restriction is in the best interest of the child. Legitimate reasons may include whether the new partner was a habitual drug user, had a violent criminal history, or has abused the child in some way.
If the restricting parent is unable to show to the Maryland Circuit Court Judge or Magistrate that there is a legitimate reason for the sudden limitations, then the court may enter an order requiring specified access to the child and the child’s related information.
Some couples spend years in court trying to determine a custodial arrangement. With the help of an experienced lawyer like LaSheena M. Williams, Esq., some parents can come to an amicable custody arrangement that benefits everyone. The best course of action when custody is restricted because of a new relationship in Maryland is to consult with an experienced family law attorney or mediator to help establish a custody and visitation order so that if access to the child is denied, the court can enforce your parental rights.
The Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams, LLC Can Protect Your Parental Rights
Our firm competently represents clients throughout Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, College Park, Cheverly, Greenbelt, Oxon Hill, Hyattsville, Upper Marlboro, Largo, Bowie, and surrounding communities. Call us today at (301)778-9950 or send us an online request for a consultation.