Continuing with our previously conceived format, we’d like to discuss in-depth an additional pair of recent Maryland Family Law Cases. Again, as with the previous two cases, we’ve selected these cases because of their significance and value to our readers. We want our readers to know ALL the possibilities that can turn up in the world of family law. Hopefully, after reading these, our audience will be able to navigate our system more smoothly.
Case #1: T.C. v. V.M. Maryland Family Law Case
This case highlights the need to identify the authority of judges and point out instances of improper authority.In 2020, a mother and father have been quarreling over child custody matters for almost a decade. During the latest quarrel, the father attempted to file a formal request for modification of the existing custody order. But the trial court judge stated that the motion couldn’t be filed until the parents attended mediation. As a result, the father and his legal team objected and filed an appeal.On review, the appellate court determined that the judge overstepped his authority in mandating mediation as a precondition for filing the modification. The court also stated that mediation could be a prerequisite for having a hearing but NOT for filing the motion. Hence, the father was ultimately successful in proceeding with his modification.
Case #2: Garba v. Ndiaye Maryland Family Law Case
The next case – Garba v. Nidaye (2016). This dispute illustrates the need to ensure that your target court has jurisdiction over your person and your case. In this matter, the mother and father of a minor child sought dissolution and custody arrangement.The father was a Senegal native and the mother was a Niger native. The couple lived in Maryland when they moved to the U.S. There, they maintained a Maryland residence. During her time in the U.S., the mother frequently worked out of state. She worked in New York and elsewhere. She also traveled internationally for business purposes.Eventually, the mother sought custody of their child. She argued that Ethiopia should be the child’s “home state” for jurisdiction purposes. This is pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Now, if the mother’s argument was successful, then Maryland courts would lack jurisdiction. The matter couldn’t be resolved in Maryland.Upon hearing her argument, Maryland courts rejected the mother’s position. They stated that the child’s home state was Maryland based on the “totality of the circumstances” test. The decision is based largely on the fact that the mother’s absences were temporary. Her actions showed an intention to permanently reside in Maryland.