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Maryland Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland on
Q: What action can I take?

My sons' are 9 and 12. They refuse to go back to their Father's house. We have 50/50 custody, but no schedule agreement filed with the court. After taking several comments from them out of context, my ex husband bagged up all their belongings from the house he shares with them and dropped... Read more »

Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste answered on Aug 1, 2020

Given the limited facts above, I am unclear what you mean about 50/50 custody but no schedule agreement. If you are saying that there is no court order or involvement, then I'd wait and see if the matter blows over. Humans are complicated especially with emotions involved so this may just blow... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Maryland on
Q: So I'm 17 and have been living with my grandparents for the past 5 years and they treat me very badly.

They've taken away all my rights and are an abusive like stage when they drink (every night). I'm not sure if I can make it to 18 with them like this and I honestly dont know what to do. I dont want to get involved with CPS again and I cant live with my mom as of now. My boyfriends... Read more »

Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste answered on Jul 30, 2020

Assuming that your grandparents have custody of you through a legal proceeding, to become emancipated (which will allow you to make your own decisions) you will have to file a petition for emancipation in the same custody case. There is no guarantee that it will work but I suggest that you contact... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Maryland on
Q: Can I have a child support order if Dad does not work?

I filed for child support, but the Dad does not work and there is no custody order in place. Is it even worth it to file? I have heard rumors that I would have to pay Dad as I have a greater income.

Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste answered on Jul 29, 2020

Yes, it is worth it. The court will impute income onto dad. That means that for calculation purposes, the court will calculate the guidelines as if he has a minimum wage job. Currently that is $11.00 depending on your county of residence. Some counties in MD have a higher minimum wage. So if you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Maryland on
Q: If im on child support do i get visition rights for my children?
Elizabeth Pugliese
Elizabeth Pugliese answered on Jul 26, 2020

Two separate things. If you want access and are not getting it, you must file for it. You are entitled to some form access whether or not you are paying child support. On the other hand, paying child support does not guarantee a certain level access.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: Meaning of “it is further ordered that the matter of child support be resolved upon the filing of appropriate pleading”

My ex wife and I have a signed Judgment of Absolute Divorce and now she treating to take down for child support and maybe full custody. We have a ordered of joint legal custody now and the original question with other orders in affect. I just want to know if she can file to change anything 2yrs... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jul 6, 2020

The visitation schedule, child support, and legal custody can all be modified at any time upon one party filing a motion and supporting the change with evidence of a material change in circumstances from when the last court order was entered. If there was never a determination of the amount of... Read more »

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.

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