Manchester, PA asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Maryland

Q: Can I request my parents' divorce records? They nvr told me the truth. I just want a straight answer about happened.

Case was in mid 80s Baltimore County (possibly Bmore City). My mother had 'full custody' (according to her) yet my father all my life bemoaned the fact that 'your mother won't listen to me'. He claimed to be helpless, yet if he gave up custody (and paid support) he got what he wanted. If no provision of Law exists, I'd like to know if I can (and how) to petition the Court to grant me access. Since it involved me directly, it should be my basic human right to know the truth. I know I can call the Bmore County Circuit Court Clerk but prefer to temper my expectations with an answer beforehand.

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: All civil cases are open to the public. You should call the court (family law division) where the divorce was adjudicated and inquire whether they still have the paper file on such an old case. If not, you will need to order it from archives. Once it is at the courthouse, you can go there to review the entire file (there are often more than one court file for contested divorce cases, so ask for all of them), and have copied whatever there is you want to copy. If there were appeals, there may be transcripts of testimony filed. You may also be able to obtain audio of any court proceedings. You will need to ask about that. If ordered during the case, the CDs of the hearings may be in the file or otherwise available. Think hard whether you really want to know the full truth. I doubt your parents are the same people today that they were then, as people grow and change, and divorce often brings out the worst due to high emotions, hurt, anger, jealousy, etc.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.