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FAMILY LAW TASK FORCE
Senior Attorney Advocate: Margaret Maupin
For a complete list of Family Law Sample Pleadings, click Pleading in the task bar at the top of the page and then, from the drop down list, select Family Law
Family Law Task Force content posted in order of most recent to oldest.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been a valuable tool for both law enforcement and immigration practitioners alike. The legislation has helped survivors of domestic and sexual violence come out the shadows and it has provided a mechanism for regularizing the immigration status of these survivors. VAWA 2013 now extends protections to other vulnerable groups.
Please join M. Audrey Carr, Director of Immigration and Special Programs at Legal Services NYC, and Julie E. Dinnerstein, Co-Director of the Immigration Intervention Project at Sanctuary for Families, for a free One-Hour briefing on VAWA 2013. Topics to be discussed include:
- The history of VAWA
- Expanded protections under VAWA 2013
- Immigration Provisions of VAWA 2013
|2013 4-5 Legislation Update.doc||192 KB|
|2013 4-1 Legislation Update.doc||192.5 KB|
Access Code: 353-214-086
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Meeting ID: 353-214-086
|2013 3-21 Legislation Update.doc||182.5 KB|
- HB 1037, which would have provided that a spouse/witness in a trial on a protective order violation may not claim spousal immunity, received an unfavorable report from Judiciary. SB 630, its companion bill, received an unfavorable report from Judicial Proceedings.
- SB 71, removing the exemption of retirement accounts from collection by the CCEA, passed the Senate.
- SB 114, requiring Hep B testing for pregnant women, passed the Senate.
- SB 178, a bill that will make a DNA paternity test of at least 99%, from a state-approved lab, a “legal finding” of paternity, received a favorable report from Judicial Proceedings.
- SB 181, providing for a “presumptive support obligation” under some circumstances, without a judicial finding, was withdrawn after an unfavorable report in Judicial Proceedings.
- Several CINA bills were acted on: HB 245, creating a presumption of neglect in the case of substance-exposed newborns, came out of Judiciary with a favorable report, as did HB 277, dealing with review hearings in CINA cases. HB 278, dealing with rights of and notices given to preadoptive parents and foster parents, passed the House.
|2013 3-11 Legislation Update.doc||176 KB|
3/1/13: The latest on the family law front from the General Assembly
Attached is an update on all family law related legislation before the General Assembly. A few bills have either died or progressed:
- HB 22, cross-filed with SB 165, Adoption – Access to Birth and Adoption Records and Search, Contact, and Reunion Services, received an unfavorable report by Judiciary.
- HB 189, Courts - Peace Orders - Acts Committed Against Employees, received an unfavorable report by judiciary and was withdrawn.
- HB 278, cross-filed with SB 265, Children in Need of Assistance - Rights of Preadoptive Parents, Foster Parents, and Caregivers of Child, received a favorable report by Judiciary.
- HB 326, cross-filed with SB 333, Criminal Procedure - Vulnerable Adult Abuse Registry, received an unfavorable report by Judiciary.
- HB 403, Family Child Care Homes - Adult to Child Ratio - Children Under 2 Years, received an unfavorable Report by Health and Government Operations and was withdrawn.
- HB 535, Court Fees - Surcharge on Divorce Petitions - Distribution to the Domestic Violence Program Fund, received an unfavorable report by Judiciary.
- HB 876, Child Abuse - Failure to Report - Civil Penalty, Fund, and Task Force, received an unfavorable report by Judiciary.
- SB 86, Voluntary Placement for Former Children in Need of Assistance, passed, and, in the House, there will be a hearing before Judiciary on 3/28/13.
- SB 104, Family Law - Grounds for Absolute Divorce - Time Requirements, received an unfavorable report by Judicial Proceedings.
- SB 181, Family Law - Child Support - Presumptive Support Obligation, the rumor is that this bill will be withdrawn.
|2013 3-1 Legislation Update.doc||170.5 KB|
Here is the latest update, coutesy of Risheena Schwemle.
|2013 2-26 Legislation Update.doc||157 KB|
Here's the latest.
|2013 2-21 Legislation Update.doc||168.5 KB|
Free Training on Pension Rights! Learn from the experts at the National Pension Rights Center how to advise clients so they can get the most out of their pensions. We all know that many legal problems stem from the fact that our clients simply don't have enough money to pay their bills. By helping clients understand their pension rights, you could be helping them increase their income every month! From helping clients understand pension statements to finding lost pensions, some basic advice can go a long way. This training is appropriate for many types of advocates: including folks who handle intake, consumer law, elder law, family law, and more. Legal Aid staff, other legal services advocates, and pro bono or volunteer attorneys are all welcome!
So, join us on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:00 am- 2:00 pm, for What Our Clients Really Need is Money! Helping Clients Make the Most of their Pension. The training will be held at the Charles Ecker Business Training Center located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046. Lunch and materials will be provided.
To sign up for this free training opportunity, go to http://understandingpensions.eventbrite.com
- overview of basic features of employer sponsored retirement savings plan
-basic rules and terminology
-issue spotting pension problems
As with all Legal Aid trainings, if you are a Maryland Legal Aid staff member please consult with your supervisor and obtain approval to attend prior to registering for the training. If you have any questions please contact Yoanna at email@example.com .
What: What Our Clients Really Need is Money! Helping Clients Make the Most of Their Pension
When: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:00 -2:00 p.m.
Where: Charles Ecker Business Training Center located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046
|Chaffin vs Chaffin.pdf||162.32 KB|
- Can she file a petition for contempt in the divorce case to enforce a provision in a separation agreement that is incorporated but not merged?
- Should she instead file a complaint for specific performance?
- If she does, should she reopen the divorce case or file a new contract action?
Here's the latest family law related legislation. A couple of things have already gone down in flames, notably SB 103 which attempted to reduce the wait time for absolute divorce from 1 year to 6 months, which got an unfavorable committee report.
|2013 2-15 Legislation Update.doc||164.5 KB|
ABA Request for Advisors – Uniform Laws Commission Study and Drafting Committees – 3rd Party Custody and Family Law Arbitration
|ABA Procedures--2011 revision.pdf||12.73 KB|
|ABA Study Cmt Procedures 2-09.pdf||285.77 KB|
On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in 12-399, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the case that addresses the legality under federal law of a non-Indian couple’s adoption of an Indian child over the father’s objection.
- HB 535 deals with a proposed surcharge on divorce “petitions” to fund DV programs. (The use of the word “petition” is a good example of why law practitioners rather than politicians should write these things!)
- HB 687 is yet another attempt to set up a commission to study what if any additions should be made to the family law article to deal with custody decisions. The commission would include legislators from both houses, judges, masters, family law practitioners, MSBA reps, mental health practitioners, and “… one representative of a domestic violence advocacy group; one representative of a fathers’ rights group; one representative of the Women’s Law Center …”
- SB 104 is a proposal to change the grounds for absolute divorce, reducing the separation requirement from 1 year to 6 months.
- SB 178 and SB 181 deal with establishing a “presumptive support obligation” if DNA results show at least a 99% probability of paternity (if from a lab approved by the state) and appear to provide for collection of child support without a judicial determination.
- SB 417 proposes a requirement that a court issue a permanent protective order if a respondent has been sentenced to (changed from serving) 5 years for specified offenses.
- SB 490 proposes a change in the definition of “persons eligible for relief” under the DV law in an attempt to be more inclusive.
- SB 503 – a long time coming – proposes, for purposes of granting a limited or absolute divorce, to make living in separate bedrooms good enough to show living separate and apart, and doing away with the necessity for 3rd party corroboration.
- SB 571 proposes a change to the way child support is calculated by subtracting from “gross income” an allowance for children who live in the home and whom one has a duty to support.
- HB 715 and SB 620 allow a court, for the purposes of guardianship or adoption proceedings, to exclude as the father of a child anyone who has committed sex offenses or rape where the child in question is a result of the crime.
- SB 731 is another attempt to authorize judges to order the respondent in a DV case to stay a certain distance from the petitioner’s residence, job, school, etc.
- SB 792 is the proposed collaborative reproduction act.
- SB 802, called the “adoption awareness program,” would require the state to “collaborate with specified interest groups” to develop educational materials for folks with unwanted pregnancies. The specified interest groups are not specified in the bill, and I imagine they are anti-choice groups.
- Interestingly, HB 505, HB 514, and SB 650 all deal with the Child Support Enforcement Administration and hunting licenses; the bills seek to exempt hunting licenses from the requirement that licensing agencies keep Social Security numbers. They are indexed under family law because they affect the information the DNR has on licensees which in turn affects what they can turn over to the CCEA.
|2013 2-5 Legislation Update.doc||123 KB|
|2013 HB 687.pdf||119.77 KB|
|2013 HB 715.pdf||146.29 KB|
|2013 SB 178.pdf||107.33 KB|
|2013 SB 181.pdf||128.66 KB|
|2013 SB 417.pdf||109.27 KB|
|2013 SB 490.pdf||115.69 KB|
|2013 SB 503.pdf||109.58 KB|
|2013 SB 579.pdf||134.92 KB|
For family law practitioners, and others interested, I have added a great deal of content to the MdJustice book "Family Law: Domestic Violence" in the past week - a substantial amount of case law, human rights information (in particular, briefs and the decision in the Lenahan case), VAWA/housing info, info and case law re: battered spouse syndrome, and more.
If you want something posted in the DV book and don't know how to post it, please email it to me and I'll do it.
We've said this before, but it bears repeating: I want the information in the family law section of MdJustice to be as helpful and user-friendly as possible, so please let me know if you have suggestions for improvement.
2007 - Suter vs. Stuckey - Right to Appeal Protective Order; No Right to Appeal Consent Protective Order
|Suter vs Stuckey.pdf||180.41 KB|
|85 OAG 87 DV Full Faith & Credit.pdf||189.63 KB|