Legal Question in Family Law in Maryland

My mother and my step father have been married for 20 years. My mother is 54 and my step father is 70. my mother moved into an apt for her disability and my step father moved in with his son. I am in college and my mother does not work; she is disabled. My step father has been the sole provider for my family. Ever since he moved in with his son, they do not allow us to speak to him. They blocked our calls and will not let us visit. We are in a financial bind because of this. What can we do against his son who does not allow us contact with my step father. And I know this is not by his choice. He also has dementia.

Asked on 3/23/16, 4:44 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Sher Wagshal and Sher

You should consult with a family law attorney about bringing an action on your mother's behalf for alimony/spousal support, which unfortunately would have to be legally against your stepfather, even though he's not the bad guy here. Alimony doesn't necessarily have to be part of a divorce proceeding. You could also seek visitation rights on behalf of your mother in the same action. There may be an issue as to your stepfather's legal capacity in such an action. Don't be surprised if you find out that the son has gotten financial control of his father's assets. If he were to predecease your mother and they're still married, she would be entitled to 1/3 of his estate even if the son got him to sign a Will leaving her nothing, but if the son gets him to sign over his assets, there would be no estate. Perhaps a strongly worded letter from an attorney might motivate the son to cooperate in regard to a spousal visitation and some support.

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Answered on 3/24/16, 12:37 pm

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