Skip to main content
Kenneth P Barnhart

Kenneth Barnhart’s Answers

22 total

  • Please help custody questions!!! dad says he will kick mom out and keep baby away from her!!!

    I am asking this question for my SIL. We are in MD. She has just had a baby about a week ago. The father was there and did sign the birth certificate, and the baby was given his last name, but they are not married and he has to get a paper signed ...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    In Maryland, parents, whether married or not, have joint legal and joint physical custody of their minor children, unless there is an agreement or court order to the contrary. Therefore, either parent has an equal right to move out and take the child along. If there is abuse, a protective order can give temporary custody to one of the parents, however there would be a hearing before or very soon after any such order where your SIL would be given the chance to present her side of the story. She could file an action against the father for custody (and for child support), but some MD courts will not consider a custody case when the parents are living in the same house. I have added a link to a site where she can get forms and information about filing a custody suit. There almost certainly is a Family Help Center at the local Circuit Court where she may be able to get some assistance.

    See question 
  • Child Support/ Custody

    I divorced my husband in July 2006 while residing in Florida and he in Virginia. The child support payments were based on him having them for the entire summer and the last two summers he has not taken them. We are both in the military and I mak...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    If you and the children have lived in Maryland for six months, you can file in Maryland to modify custody. You could couple that filing with a motion to modify child support, especially if the summer camps amount to work-related childcare. (Payment of such expenses goes into the support formula under the MD Child Support Guidelines) As for your other problem, parents who cannot be depended upon in access and visitation matters are a big problem, but I am not aware of any way to force one of them to take their children and keep them for the entire scheduled time.

    I have added a link to a site where you can download the forms you would need to modify custody and support. Best of luck to you and your children.

    See question 
  • Orders and judgements

    In maryland, if an order has been issued, but was reversed and the new order has not yet been ruled apon, does the first order still have to be followed until the new order is signed and filed?

    Kenneth’s Answer

    As a general rule, no, the order that was reversed is no longer in effect and does not need to be followed. However, and this is a big however, there may very well be circumstances in which it would be in your best interest to refrain from doing anything contrary to the order that was reversed. I strongly suggest that you consult with competent legal counsel before taking any action.

    See question 
  • Mother threats...what can I do?

    My mother had threatend me awhile back to stay out of her life or she give me a retstraining order.But now that I am pregnant(mind you I am 21 years old) and living with in laws and my boyfriend she is causing much trouble to myself and trying to ...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Do the very best job that you can do in raising your son. Right now, you do not have a legal problem - so long as there is no court order to the contrary, you and the father of your child(ren) share joint legal and physical custody. If your mother wants custody, she will have to go to court. The court will decide the case based upon what is in the best interest of the child(ren). If the mother and father are fit parents, they will have a huge advantage over a grandparent in a custody proceeding. So take good care of your child, and you should come out ok. By the way, have you considered making peace with your mother? Your pregnancy presents an opportunity to do that, if you are willing. Is there a family friend, counselor, pastor, or even a mediator that could help the two of you work on your relationship? Maybe the new life that is on the way could help the two of you rebuild a bridge between you. I am not criticizing you for the present state of your relationship with your mother or saying that this is something that you have to do or that you should do - I am just pointing out a possibility for you to consider. Best of luck in what ever you decide to do.

    See question 
  • Disparity of pay

    I am A Senior Project Consultant employed by my Oakland, Cal office. I live in Maryland. I was originally hired to work in Maryland, but also support Ohio and Georgia when needed. One of my peers who had the same accountability, got pregnant and c...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    You offer a complex set of facts, and I strongly recommend that you consult with a competent employment attorney. The first thing to look at is whether you have a written employment contract. If so, the terms of the contract will most likely control the outcome of your situation. Sometimes personnel rules & regulations or an employee handbook or similar document will create an employment contract and those rules & regulations will control. Otherwise, the attorney will have to consider whether California or Maryland law applies to your situation. Maryland is an employment-at-will state, which means if you do not have a contract, you can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all - so long as it is not for unlawful reason, such as illegal discrimination or retaliation. Best of luck to you in working through this difficult situation.

    See question 
  • Understanding the wording in my divorce agreement.

    My divorce agreement says "Be incorporated but not merged into the judgement of Absolute Divorce." What does this mean?

    Kenneth’s Answer

    If an Agreement is "incorporated but not merged" into a Judgment of Absolute Divorce, it means that the Agreement can be enforced either as a contract or as a court order. For example, if your ex failed to pay you money that was due under the Agreement, you could file an ordinary contract law suit against your ex, or you could ask the court to find your ex in contempt of the Judgment.

    If the Agreement were merged into the Judgment, you could not file an ordinary contract suit. If it were not incorporated into a court order, you could not enforce it through the contempt process. Incorporated but not merged allows you to do either one.

    See question 
  • Property dispute between co-owners and possible mortgage fraud

    To help my ex-friend refinance her property (multi-family home), I agreed to co-sign on the mortgage only if my name could be placed on the deed as half owner. We also had an agreement (signed contract) that she was to refinance in 6 months and I ...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    You may have a claim against both your ex and the mortgage company and whoever conducted the closing and maybe even the notary, depending on the facts. A crucial fact is what were the provisions of the "signed contract" and any other documents that you signed. For example, did you give anyone a power of attorney? Also, did you notify the mortgage company of the fraud and for how long did you know what happened before you notified the mortgage company? A court is going to be reluctant to award you relief if you knew about this situation for a long time, but never brought it to the attention of the mortgage company. Assuming that your ex knowingly went through with the deal, you probably have a fairly strong claim against her. Your claim against the mortgage company and/or closing agent and/or the notary will likely depend on what measures they took to verify the identity or authority of the person who signed your name. As for obtaining title to the property, you could file a partition suit against your ex asking that the property be sold, then buy the property yourself. There are enough complications here that I strongly recommend that you obtain knowledgeable legal counsel to assist you in asserting your rights. Best of luck to you.

    See question 
  • Sue ex for half of bill

    My ex-husband & I lived in an apartment. I left him he lived in the aprtment for 2 more months he left the apartment lease wasn't over until Nov. Any way my wages are being garnished . I want to sue my ex for his half should I wait until the entir...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    You can do it either way, but why not go ahead an sue him now? When you fill out the District Court form, spell out the amount he owes you for what you have paid so far and the total amount that will be due if the landlord collects the whole amount from you. Be sure to sign the statement at the bottom of the form swearing that the statements are true - that way, if your ex does not respond, the court can grant a judgment against him by affidavit. By the way, was the apartment re-rented after he left? If so, you may owe less than the total amount of unpaid rent under the lease. Make sure that the landlord is not collecting more from you than you owe. Best of luck.

    See question 
  • Child Support payment

    I have a baby with my ex-girlfriend and I am paying child support monthly. Will my payments be lessened if she gets married?

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Almost certainly not. In Maryland, the amount of most child support payments is determined by the application of the Child Support Guidelines. The process is a fairly mechanical calculation, and the formula does not ask whether either the mother or father has remarried. You can ask the court to deviate from the Child Support Guidelines amount, but court-ordered deviations are rare.

    See question 
  • Moving back whit my mom

    i am young, 16 to be exact. when i was 14 my mother sent me to live with my father. she thought it would be better for me. she signed a paper which gave him complete custody of me. i have wanted to go back home for some time and mother wants me ho...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Under Maryland law, you are old enough to file your own petition to change custody. (MD Family Law Code, Section 9-103) It looks like you live in Prince George's County. You would have to file a Petition to Modify Custody with the Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro. If you file a petition, the court is required to have a hearing before deciding what to do. The court will decide based upon what it determines to be in your best interests - that may end up being all of what you want, none of what you want, or something in the middle. The fact that your father's household brings in more money does not guarantee that he will retain custody. There are many factors to consider. The Circuit Court can refer you to many sources of help. Call them at 301-780-8000. Best of luck to you.

    See question