One of the most difficult situations within Maryland family law is parental child abuse. A 2012 appellate case dealt with the question of a child abuse charge against a father. In the case, the department of social services received a report that a father had held one of his two children by the arm to make sure he finished eating spaghetti with mushrooms.
When the mother, who shared custody with the father, came to pick up the kids, she saw there were bruises on her son’s neck and a scratch under his chin. She took him to a pediatrician who reported the possible abuse to the department of social services. The police investigated and the son told them that the father had grabbed him by the neck and pulled him down.
The investigation led to a social worker finding that indicated child abuse. The father provided a substantially similar account as the son and the mother. Under Maryland law, child abuse is the physical or mental injury of a child by a parent who has care, custody or responsibility for supervising a child such that the child’s health or welfare may be harmed. Continue reading →