September 2019

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Dispelling Common Myths Related to Child Custody Disputes

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Child Custody

When you became a parent, you likely received a great deal of unsolicited advice from loved ones, acquaintances and even strangers. When others discovered that you are navigating a child custody situation, they likely responded with the same well-intentioned, unsolicited behavior. When others chime in without being asked, it can be difficult to separate the truth from unintentionally crafted fiction. And it can therefore be difficult to know what to believe and what advice should be followed or ignored.

This reality is one of the reasons why it is generally important to consult with an experienced family law attorney early in your child custody dispute timeline. Lawyers experienced in family legal matters can easily separate fact from fiction as it applies to your family’s specific situation. If you are in need of legal assistance in regards to a child custody matter, please consider scheduling a consultation with our firm. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and to clarify any questionable, well-meaning advice you may have received so far. Until our consultation, please consider keeping some of these myth busters in mind.

Myth #1: All Child Custody Disputes Are Contentious

Sometimes, parents have fundamental disagreements related to their child’s custody that can only be successfully decided by a judge. But most often, parents actually agree on most or all of their child’s custody agreement terms out of court. There are two primary methods that parents use in order to avoid a contentious “court battle” kind of dispute. The first is mediation and the second is attorney-assisted negotiation.

During a mediation process, each parent sits down with both their attorneys and a third-party mediator who is neutral. The mediator does not push any specific agenda or takes sides. He or she simply helps to facilitate a constructive process. Attorney-assisted negotiation allows parents to work either primarily with each other or primarily through their attorneys to settle the specific terms of their child’s custody agreement. These methods are often helpful for parents who want to avoid having the fate of their custody dispute placed in the hands of a judge.

Myth #2: A Parent’s Preference Is Paramount

When judges are called upon to settle a contentious dispute, they are bound by the “best interests of the child” standard. This standard requires family law courts to prioritize a child’s best interests over parental preferences that may conflict with those interests. For example, if a parent wants to have residential placement of a child every other week but that arrangement is seriously counterproductive to that child’s school schedule, a judge will likely overrule a parent’s preference in deference to his or her child’s best interests.

Answers to Questions About Child Custody

If you have questions about child custody matters, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. With the exception of the “best interests of the child” standard, there are few hard and fast rules that apply to child custody disputes. As a result, it is helpful to connect with an attorney so that you can be advised of your legal options according to your family’s unique circumstances. Asking questions never hurts, but failing to obtain necessary clarification from an experienced family law lawyer in Rockville, MD may affect you and your child for years to come. 

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and common myths about child custody battles.

Animal Abuse

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Understanding Animal Abuse

Animal abuse is just as serious as child abuse. In both cases, the victim has no opportunity to speak up for themselves. 
A lot of people don’t take animal abuse seriously because they see humans as superior to animals. Nonetheless, abusing an animal is wrong and against the law. 

Animal abuse can also come in the form of neglect. Humans love to capture and keep animals as pets or companions. I have no issue with this as I have owned many pets in my past as well. However, humans rarely dedicate the time it takes to properly care for an animal. As mentioned before, most animals are like babies in the fact that they require constant attendance. They must always be fed, kept from harming themselves, and have their grooming maintained to prevent illness and disease. These things (amongst many others) are to be considered when shopping for that new Siberian husky on Craigslist. 

Unfortunately, just as some people aren’t ready to be parents, some people aren’t ready to be pet owners either. Pets are not human and can barely understand the simplest terms in our language. Therefore, it will require much patience in order to successfully train it to the perfect house pet. Patience, that some pet owners don’t have, unfortunately. Cases have come about where animals have been beaten, cut, castrated, placed in dangerous living conditions, etc. There was even a lot of backlash toward ex NFL superstar Michael Vick after he admitted to fighting dogs for-profit and feeding them dangerous material to make them more aggressive.

What would drive someone to be maliciously harmful to a helpless being is a logic that I may never understand. Good thing there are laws in place to protect them! While this is a very sad occurrence, it does happen. Should you or someone you know be facing criminal charges for animal abuse, there is a defense for you as well. It is best to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney in the area the offense took place. Speak with a criminal defense attorney in Decatur, GA that understands animal laws in your area, and who is able to build a defense for you should you potentially be prosecuted for animal abuse.

Thanks to The Lynch Law Group for their insight into criminal law and animal abuse.