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Woman loses child custody for prescription drug abuse

Many Maryland parents who are going through a divorce know the difficulties faced when battling for child custody. Though oftentimes this issue can be settled amicably, other times parents seem to throw each other under the bus in an effort to make their home look more suitable for their children. While this strategy is sometimes used to negligently make false allegations, in many cases it can paint a clear picture of how the child's parents live, thereby giving a judge a chance to make a decision that best supports the child's best interest.

This was the scenario recently in an especially heated custody dispute involving the Chairman of Green Bank and his wife. In that instance, the couple flung allegations at each other, including cohabitation, religious hypocrisy and drug abuse. A judge ruled the father would have custody over the couple's children because the mother was dishonest about the extent of her prescription drug use. According to reports, the mother was using antidepressants extensively, receiving prescriptions from 28 doctors since 2008. One account even said the mother passed out during a flight, leaving her children unattended. The judge has stated she will assess the case again if the mother can provide clean drug tests over the next year.

Though this is an extreme case, many Maryland parents find themselves in similar disputes. Whether these individuals are fighting for sole custody or joint custody and equal visitation, a family law attorney may be able to help.

When determining to whom to grant custody, a judge will look to several factors, including parenting ability, stability of the home, any history of abuse, and the financial situation of the homes. By putting forth evidence, an attorney can assist a party in showing the quality of his or her parenting ability while showing the other party's limitations. Similar steps can be taken to address other child custody determination factors, and, hopefully, with vigorous legal arguments, the parent can move on with life with as much contact with his or her children as he or she wants.

Source: New York Daily News, "EXCLUSIVE: Mom whose post-divorce abortion was used against her in custody battle loses kids over pill popping," Dareh Gregorian, March 21, 2014

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