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Maryland Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: Can eather parent take kids out of state while divorce is in process . no custody order in place yet .

We both have custody rite now we have equal time with them every week

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jun 24, 2020

Yes. Until there is an agreement or order issued, there is no legal restriction on either parent taking the children out of state for a vacation, trip or other temporary visit. However, if there is an active case pending, you cannot relocate the children's residence and then try to switch... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: What are the requirements to gain full custody of your child?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jun 20, 2020

Maryland follows the “best interests of the child” standard in deciding whether to award one parent primary legal or residential custody, or shared legal, or shared residential, and the extent of each. You file a complaint for custody, serve it on the other parent, and follow the court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: How do l enforce a order for visitation and communication if the other parent refused and sends child to another state

We supposed to have every other weekend every other holiday 8wks out of the summer and communication 7pm daily we have not seen the child since February and no communication since april a well check was done and the officers was told the child was not there but in north Carolina

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Jun 15, 2020

You must file against the other person for contempt. The court has the power to enforce the current order against the other parent. If the child is out of state, t he other parent can be required to return the child to the state.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: My legal husband will not return my son to me. What can i do?

My Husband and I recently separated, in which i took both my sons ages 3 and 7 with me. We have a child support agreement of which he pays to me. He recently took my sons for visitation and will not return my 3 year old to me. I have contacted a police officer but he stated there was no custody... Read more »

Diana Valle
Diana Valle answered on Jun 15, 2020

Yes, you will have to obtain a custody order. I recommend you file a complaint for custody immediately to avoid him establishing a routine with your son.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: Non custodial parents refuse to provide his new address since Nov 2019, but still wants visit every other weekend.

My ex moved from is mom's house in Nov 2019, during is weekend with our 6 yr old daughter. Mom's address is on record in the court order. I found out he moved for my daughter (I had to buy her a phone because he was never home when I called to speak to her). I asked him about it and he... Read more »

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Jun 4, 2020

First check the court order. Does it require that parents provide each other their address? If it does, you can file contempt.

Regardless of that step, you can file in court to modify the custody. You can cite as the reason for the change he moved. Then let the court sort it out...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support for Maryland on
Q: I need to remove my last name from a kid that is not my son biological. It's been 4 years since he was born.

My ex-partner and I, we separated about 4 years due to her cheating on me. As a result of this, she got pregnant by the man who she cheated on me. She never told me about this infidelity until later I found some emails on her phone when she used to communicate with guy. The baby was born, and I... Read more »

Diana Valle
Diana Valle answered on May 25, 2020

You should file a complaint for paternity to establish you are not the father and/or respond the the complaint and deny everything under the defense that you are not the father. The court will order a DNA test and that should take care of the support issue. You might be able to ask the court to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: My child's father refuses to work,his girlfriend pays for all living expenses for my kid's but we have joint custody

Can I get this modifed to get primary custody? He makes Drs appointment's and refuses to tell me. He allows her to sign all dental, medical and school paperwork as the mother. I have never received child support or asked! He calls and texts me Everytime I pick up my children and causes... Read more »

Diana Valle
Diana Valle answered on May 25, 2020

The father's girlfriend should have no authority over your children's legal issues such as medical appointments and other important paperwork. He is seriously depriving you of your parental rights to legal custody over your children. Your children have a right to child support as well.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Maryland on
Q: Am I required to provide clothing for non custodial parent?

I am the custodial parent and receive child support from their father. He feels that because he pays support that I should buy clothes for the kids to keep at his house. I don't think I should be required to provide their basic necessities for his house. Am I required to provide all clothing... Read more »

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on May 18, 2020

To keep at his house, no. You should back a bag for the kids and that bag with all its contents should come back from each visit. If he wants clothes kept at his home, he should provide them. Child support is not enough to cover two sets of clothing for the kids plus provide for their other... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: Can I get legally emancipated if both my parents are dead?

If both my parents die, I’d like to remain independent as I only have two years left till I leave for college. All the potential guardians my parents want are out of country and I don’t want that. Is there a way I could be responsible for myself and remain in the states via emancipation?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on May 9, 2020

In theory, at age 15, a child who can prove that they can financially support themselves and manage on their own, can become emancipated. This is most common when there is substantial evidence of abuse or neglect at home, but appointment of a new guardian is the preference. However, an adult... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: I have 100% physical and legal, my ex has a day visit every other weekend, what happens if my ex won't return child?

I have 100% Physical and Legal custody, for safety reasons (alcohol abuse and mental instability), my child goes for a visit every other weekend for a day visit that has to be supervised by the ex's parents. So far during Covid-19 things have gone smooth, outside of angry texts, drop off and... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Apr 24, 2020

The courts are still hearing and processing emergency matters, so an emergency motion could be filed -- although in the case of your scenario, you may not want to wait the day or so it could take to get in front of a judge if this happens on a Sunday or Saturday when no judges are sitting. Most... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: In the state of Maryland Do grandparents have any rights to grandchildren if they have been the primary care giver?

In the state of Maryland, My wife and I have separated. My 2 children have lived with my parents since birth and they have provided and cared for them. My wife always wanted it that way because she would get overwhelmed and said that she couldn’t take care of them and needed help with them. So... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Apr 15, 2020

You alone cannot grant them legal custody, nor limit or restrict the mother's rights. You and the birth mother together can grant custody to the grandparents by consent. In the absence of consent, however, and because your parents have been the "de facto" parents of the children... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: My son has a child out of wedlock and the child has been living with him for three years does he have custody

The mother lived with me and my husband for a 1 1/2 years with my son and the baby and then they all moved out for a year and then my son came back with my grandson and been living with us for 3 yrs now. Does he have custody or can she just take him because she want her daughter to be raise with my... Read more »

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Apr 14, 2020

Without a court order, both parents have equal custody. The mother could take the child to live with her. The best solution when the parents are no longer living together is to either reach a written agreement regarding custody that is then entered as a court order or file for custody with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: I have custody grandson Visits have be agreed on with parents Bc of Covid19 do I have to allow visits during this time?

Grandson is 3, I have Sole/physical custody. Mom has stayed away to prevent any spread germs but his dad still wants a weekly visit

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Apr 1, 2020

The Maryland Stay At Home Order specifically states that travel is permitted pursuant to any court order. If the access is court ordered, it must be allowed to go forward.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: When do you produce reference letters? At the hearing or with the initial filing?

Custody case

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Mar 25, 2020

"Reference letters" presumably letters from friends and neighbors about the issues are not admissible in court. They are considered hearsay. There must be live testimony.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: I filed for sole legal and physical custody in MD, how do I know when the defendant has been served?

Does the circuit court handle serving the defendant for you or is that something you have to do yourself?

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Jan 18, 2020

You must make arrangements to have the Defendant serve. You cannot serve the Defendant yourself, as in hand the person the papers, or mail them yourself. The sheriff will do it for $40. A private process server is slightly more.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: Filed for child support in md, father moved to PA to get out of paying. Signed agreement between both of usWhat can I do

Md will only send him papers in the mail (he keeps returning them) because of ‘jurisdiction’. We have an agreement (signed) to which he hasn’t stuck to at all regarding payments and weekends for him. What can I do to get this enforced and resolved?

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Jan 7, 2020

You can file with the court to enforce the agreement yourself. You do not need child support enforcement to do it. Have him personally served. Then proceed with the court matter.

You should consult with an attorney about all of your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: I moved out of state w/ my child Nov ‘18 without notifying the court. 14 months later the father has reopened the case.

There are reasons I left. Mainly because my son, 13 then, refused to see his father Bc of abuse accusations and threats of his father to kill me in front of my son. The father then cut off all contact, including blocking my number. Financially we were on the verge of homelessness so we moved to NC... Read more »

Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Jan 7, 2020

Regardless of the reasons, you still needed to follow the correct process by going through the court. Will you lose custody? Probably not. However, the court will not be happy with you which will make it much harder to present your case.

Online mediation does not change a court...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Maryland on
Q: Once I am deemed the "legal father" by the affidavit of parentage (Maryland), am I protected by the 14th amendment?

Once being deemed the legal father by Maryland's Affidavit of parentage, does this give me full legal rights to have a relationship with my child, and be an active father? Even if the mother has since moved to another state? Do my rights disappear because she, and the children crossed over an... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Dec 19, 2019

You should consult with a family law attorney- they will be able to tell you whether you would need to file something in Maryland or the other state to challenge the ruling/judgment (most likely the other state). It is unclear what the due process/14th Amendment violation would be if you had... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: Soon to be ex-husband threatening to create problems for me if I don't get an abortion

I have been in a very bad marriage from 5 years, it is not necessarily physically violent but it does get very violent and I have many times decided to quit but he always stops me. I am at last pregnant now and I do want to have the baby because I have a good job and supportive family however I no... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Sep 24, 2019

Leave this abusive relationship and go have your baby. File for custody and request child support. Call House of Ruth for advice and possibly representation or referral to pro bono or reduced fee legal representation.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: what is it called when a parent makes a child fundle with his private parts

grabbing their hands and making them play with his penus

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Aug 23, 2019

It’s called child abuse. Call the police and report the abuse. Be prepared for Child Protective Services to get involved and the person potentially being arrested and prosecuted. If the perpetrator is living in the household of the child, that person or the child will be removed from the... Read more »

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