I recently received the written report and recommendation of the Master in the case detailed in the February 14, 2010 blog, Relocation Custody Cases in Maryland – Part Two. The findings, report and recommendation were favorable to my client. Among many other things, the Master specifically found that the mother was not willing to foster a relationship between the minor child and the father and that an award of sole custody to the mother would not be in the minor child’s best interest. Accordingly, the Master recommended that the parties have joint legal and physical custody of the minor child (with a one week on, one week off access schedule for each parent) until he commences Kindergarten, at which time the father would have primary physical custody of the child here in Maryland with specified visitation to the Mother.
I believe the mother will probably file exceptions to the Master’s recommendations, which will require her to meet the requirments of Maryland Rule 9-208. An Exceptions Hearing, is not a de novo hearing (a re-trial), instead the Judge assigned the case decides the exceptions based on the evidence presented to the Master unless the excepting party sets forth with particularilty the additional evidence to be offered and the reasons why the evidence was not offered before the Master, and the Judge determines that the additional evidence should be considered. If additional evidence is to be considered, the Judge may remand the matter back to the Master to hear and consider the additional evidence or at that point to conduct a de novo hearing.