21 Dec 2017

How does Child Custody Laws work in Maryland

When parents get divorced, both the parents or the court have to decide that parent will receive custody of the children. Unless custody is split equally, that is known as “joint custody,” one parent will become the “custodial” parent, that means the parent with whom the children will stay. However, in most situations, the non-custodial parent is still entitled to visitation or parenting time. So what occurs if the custodial parent takes the kids and get away from the state? Do Maryland’s child custody laws even allow custodial parents to move out of state? And is there any legal action the non-custodial parent can take to prevent relocation outside Maryland?

Notice of intent to relocate

Unless doing so would expose kids or parents to abuse, those looking to relocate their child’s permanent residents have to provide written the notice of their purpose. This is the case whether or not they plan to move to a new house in the state of Maryland or relocate out of the country or state. Following state law, parents should give this notice to the kid’s other parent, the court or both within the 90 days of the proposed child relocation. There are  exceptions to this rule:

If the relocating parent can show the court that providing notice would expose the child or the relocating parent to abuse, then a judge will waive the notice requirement and take measures to protect the relocating parent and child even as safeguarding the rights of the non-relocating parent.

If the relocating parent should move in less than 90 days for economic reasons or other extenuating situations, and the relocating parent still provides as much notice as possible, the court won’t hold the shortened notice against the relocating parent.

Objecting to the move

It’s not enough to toss a notice in the ordinary USA email and address it to the other parent. The relocating parent has to send it by certified mail, return receipt requested.

If the nonmoving parent receives the notice and accepts the move, the parents must submit written terms of their agreement to the court.

Just sending the notice does not assure that people can be accepted to relocate with their children. The parent who isn’t moving has the possibility to object to the move. Maryland state law stipulates that people who want to contest a child relocation have to file an appeal within 20 days of the notice of intent to relocate. The court will then schedule a hearing to determine whether or not to allow the move and a custody change. The court itself can also initiate such hearings.

Don’t move away with your children when your ex-disagrees and the court hasn’t ruled yet. Consult an attorney first.

Determining the child’s best interests

When deciding whether or not to permit a child relocation, the court will consider some circumstances. It is the purpose of the court to determine whether a move is in the best interests of the kid. According to the Maryland courts, the factors the court will consider in such cases include the following:

  • The fitness of each parent
  • The child’s age, sex, and health
  • The child’s preference
  • The character and reputation of both parents

Additionally, the court may keep in mind where each of the parents lives and how their houses affect visitation opportunities. The real possibilities that the relocation may provide, which may change the kid’s future life can also be analyzed.

What To Do If You Are Seeking Assistance With Child Custody Issues?

Child custody issues require a lawyer experienced in family law. Law Office Of Alice Pare has the experience to help you with all your family law needs. Whether you are looking to modify or establish a child custody order, our lawyers can assist you with your needs. For your convenience, we have offices in Germantown, Maryland.

To know about more how we can assist you with your particular situation, please email or call us today at  301-515-1190 to set up your primary consultation.

Need Advice? Get a Phone Consultation!

Contact us today