Blogs by David Bulitt
Crafting an Access Schedule and Custody Agreement for Children with ADHD or Other Learning Disabilities
While personal lives and professional business relationships may appear to be very different, they actually can share very similar qualities and principles. In fact, many aspects of a successful business mirror those found in a successful personal relationship. It can be a worthwhile exercise to apply some well-heeled practices to one’s personal relationship in order for it to reach its fullest potential. Here are a few business practices that can be converted and used to enhance one’s personal relationship:
While divorce can be a painful process for all children, those who experience Attention Deficit Disorder (“ADD”) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”) may have an even more complicated and difficult time adapting to the inevitable change that comes with his or her parents divorcing. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the disorders are marked by patterns of inattention and impulsivity that can interfere with functioning and/or development.
I have been a divorce lawyer for more than 30 years. Over that period, I have represented many parents with special needs children. Maryland judges have also appointed me, on well over a hundred occasions, to represent children as a Best Interests Attorney. Many of those children have also had special needs. These cases can be extremely difficult matters to litigate, particularly when the children experience mental health issues, learning disabilities or behavioral difficulties. The symptomology of these often cannot easily be seen, explained or understood.
As both a family law practitioner and a parent who has a child with an opioid addiction, I have, for many years now, had a front row seat to the damage that drugs can do to a family. Some years ago, we would encounter opioid addiction in a divorce case only occasionally. However, as the scope of this epidemic has grown in Maryland, so has its prevalence in child custody, divorce and in other family law matters.
On August 7, 2017, the Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, handed down a decision that will open a new avenue of defense to battered spouses in the state – in the extreme case where the spouse hires a hit man to kill the abuser.
In most contested matters, mediation should be considered as an option in resolving even the most complicated divorces. Mediation is generally less emotionally wrenching for the people involved than a trial, can be substantially less expensive, and helps to keep family secrets out of the public eye when it may be important to do so. When a divorce case reaches the courtroom, the future of the entire family, not just the parents, is at stake. Mediation allows people to resolve issues amongst themselves, not leave those decisions to a stranger - decisions that are likely to affect the lives of the entire family for much if not all of their lives. Whether the issues be financial or parental, there can be serious risks involved in letting a judge decide the ownership of high-valued family assets or parents’ child custody and visitation rights.
On July 24, Maryland Attorney General, Brian E. Frosh, issued an opinion that clarifies an important and relatively new aspect of family law: same-sex divorce. The opinion – which was hailed by such organizations as Equality Maryland, FreeState Legal Project and the Maryland State Bar Association – further defines the term “adultery” to refer to any extramarital affair, regardless of the sex of the individuals involved.
As the Attorney General Frosh said in his opinion:
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