Maryland uses several criteria to determine child custody. Parents who wish to file for child custody in Maryland should first become familiar with the custody statutes in this state.
Related: Help our readers by sharing your experience with child custody in Maryland.
Best Interests of the Child
A family court in Maryland determines child custody based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider the following factors in determining a child's best interests:
- The child's wishes, depending on his or her age and intelligence (generally age 12 or older)
- Any history of abuse or neglect
- The child's relationship with his/her parents
- The proximity between each parents' homes
- Each parent's ability to encourage and foster a relationship between the child and the other parent and make decisions with one another, concerning the child
Child Custody Petition by a Child
In Maryland, a child who is at least 16 years old may request a change of custody in court. The court will either:
- Hold a hearing, or
- Amend the order or decree and place the child in the custody of the parent designated by the child
Military Parents and Child Custody in Maryland
In Maryland, if a custody or visitation arises as a result of the deployment of a single parent, the court will require:
- The child's other parent to reasonably accommodate the deploying parent's leave schedule
- The child's other parent to encourage and facilitate opportunities for the child to communicate with the deploying parent by way of the telephone and electronic mail
- The deploying parent to provide the other parent with the information regarding the leave schedule in a timely fashion
Relocation and Child Custody in Maryland
In a Maryland child custody proceeding, the court may require a party to give the court and a co-parent 90 days notice of the intention to relocate either with or without the child. If a party must relocate in less than 90 days, the court will consider:
- Whether the relocation is necessary due to financial or other pressing circumstances
- Whether notice is given immediately following the period of time after learning of the relocation
For more information about child custody in Maryland, speak with a qualified attorney in Maryland or refer to the Maryland Domestic Relations statue.