Best Interest Attorneys in the State of Maryland: Factors Affecting the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Best Interest Attorneys in the State of Maryland
by Marsha Russell
This book is a labor of love born from adversity. It is the authors Masters Thesis written as a result of her experiences with the Montgomery County, Maryland legal system and the attorneys who work that system. It is written to provide information to women who face the difficult challenge of having the Maryland legal system micro-manage the rearing of their children via custody, support, and visitation. It is not meant to provide legal advice, but rather to inform women about the law as it relates to child custody/visitation issues and the utilization of the so-called Best Interest Attorney or BIA.
Although this treatise was written in 2009, it continues to be relevant today. Having gone through the experience twice, the author has learned that mothers must be aware of the parameters of the BIAs activities and the possibility that their recommendations may be skewed by racial, sexual or ethnic bias; or even influence from the presiding judge with no recourse available. Presently, there are no laws in place to adequately monitor BIA activities. As a result, too many children are allowed visitation with fathers who the mothers warn are abusive or have mental health issues. Yet time and time again, the court continues to ignore the warnings due to something the author refers to as the Daddy Rule. When the mother raises concerns, she is viewed by the court as being vindictive rather than trying to protect her children.
Subsequently, the only possibility for change depends on how quickly advocacy groups form tenacious coalitions to bring about needed change in the domestic relations/family law area of the Maryland judicial system. Such action will take a massive effort, due to the utter entrenchment of the courts in the states flawed legal system a system which allows manipulation by the fathers to the detriment of the children and the anguish of the mothers.
About the Author
Marsha E. Russell was born in Washington, DC. She received her undergraduate degree in political science from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, and her Masters Degree in public administration from Strayer University in Rockville, MD. She lives in Maryland with her son.
(2014, Paperback, 104 pages)