In the State of Maryland, there are three types of adoption: Public Agency Adoption, Private Agency Adoption, and Independent Adoption. If you are interested in adoption, or are undergoing legal matters involving adoption, it is important to understand the difference between the three and who can Petition the Circuit Court for adoption.
Public Agency Adoption is an adoption proceeding brought by the Department of Social Services (DSS) in which parental rights over a child have been terminated. With such an adoption, potential adopters would need to complete a 27-hour home study course.
Private Agency Adoption is an adoption proceeding brought by a private adoption agency. The private adoption agency will have a child in need of adoption and has found a family willing to adopt the child. The private agency must be licensed through the Social Services Administration.
Independent Adoption is an adoption proceeding brought by a private party, and often involves, but is not limited to, situations in which a stepparent or a grandparent would like to adopt a child.
Those who can petition a court for adoption of a child is anyone who is not considered the natural parent of the child. The petitioner need not be married, but if they are, the spouse of the petitioner will be joined in the adoption unless they fall under certain exceptions, such as separation, incompetence, or if the spouse is already a legal parent of the child being petitioned for adoption.
If the natural parents and/or current legal guardians of the child are still living, Maryland Law requires their consent to the adoption. When filing a Petition for Adoption in a Maryland Circuit Court, the Petitioner must be sure to file multiple exhibits required under Maryland Rule 9-103.
Adoption can be a difficult process to navigate. It is best to consult an attorney if you are considering adoption, or are involved in a legal matter involving adoption.
The attorneys at Stevens Palmer, LLC regularly represent and advise clients on matters such as adoption, as well as other family law matters. If you or a loved on are in need of assistance with this matter, attorneys Patrick J. Palmer, Justin M. Hoyt, and Kaya C. Abukassis are able to help and can be reached at (410) 758-4600 or learn more at www.spp-law.com.
There are many aspects to consider when buying or selling commercial real estate in Maryland. Transactions can vastly differ and new issues can arise in each deal. The first step is to enlist a trusted commercial real estate broker. Brokers who specialize in commercial properties have experience dealing with the complicated aspects of a commercial transaction. The next step is to prepare a due diligence package if you are the seller. This will include property financial statements, rent roll if applicable, maintenance reports, existing title policies, existing surveys, and permits, along with anything else that may be unique to the property. Having these materials gathered and ready to go can save a lot of time when a buyer is found. If you are the buyer, your broker will review your budget, market studies, and set you up for site visits.
Once a buyer decides they want to move forward on the chosen property, the brokers will draw up a Letter of Intent (LOI) which outlines the agreed upon terms. The LOI is generally non-binding but allows the parties to come to agreed upon terms before engaging an attorney to draft the Contract of Sale. It is vital to have open communication with your broker and attorney about any contingencies on the property, as well as realistic expectations for a due diligence study period when negotiating and drafting the contract. A broker and attorney will help you keep on top of any deadlines, and assist you with filing any variances, permits, etc. that are listed as contingencies in the contract. Attorneys can also assist with any objections on the title of the property, as well as any other due diligence matters. Another important point to consider is if there will be any prorations. It is generally a good idea to have an accountant calculate any prorations that will be due at the time of closing once a closing date is secured.
The ratified contract will be given to the title company to begin the process of underwriting for title insurance. This may include surveys and special endorsements that may be required. The title company will also coordinate with the lender, if one is involved, to get all of the lender requirements lined up for closing. The attorneys and staff at Bay East Title are skilled in navigating and coordinating commercial closings.
Many times the sale of commercial property is paired with the sale of a business or its assets as well and can add a layer of intricacies to the transaction. Attorneys Joseph Stevens and Genevieve Macfarlane practice both Real Estate and Business Law and can guide you through an efficient transaction. With a little preparation and a team of trusted professionals, your transaction will go as smoothly as possible.
There may be no issue of greater significance in a person’s life than decisions related to the custody and well-being of their children. In Maryland, there exists a presumption that the natural parents are the proper custodians of the child with the ability to make decisions related to their health and well-being. This presumption is consistent with the seminal Supreme Court Case, Troxel v. Granville, which recognized a parent’s fundamental right to make decisions concerning their children is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.
This does not, however, preclude a non-parent from seeking custody of a child. In fact, third-party custody of children is one of the most rapidly evolving areas of family law in Maryland. Since 2016, Maryland courts have begun re-examining the rights of particular category of third-parties to seek custody of children. This includes the recognition of a de facto parent, who may be treated like a natural parent as a result of the de facto parent’s relationship to the child. De facto parenthood may be established where the natural parents of a child consent to and foster the de facto parent’s relationship with the child, the de facto parent has lived with the child, the de facto parent performs parental functions for the child, and a parent-child bond exists between the de facto parent and the child.
Third-party custody is a complex field of law, that continues to develop rapidly each time Maryland’s appellate courts revisit the topic. The attorneys at Stevens Palmer, LLC, possess a wealth of knowledge and experience in all areas of family law, including those related to third-party custody, visitation and child support. The attorneys at Stevens Palmer, LLC regularly represent and advise clients on these matters, and advocate for those clients in court when litigation is required. If you encountered a situation involving the custody of a loved one and need assistance, attorneys Patrick Palmer and Justin Hoyt are able to help and can be reached at (410) 758-4600 or learn more at www.spp-law.com.
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