Child Custody Cases in Maryland

Child custody is often one of the most heavily contested issues during any divorce proceeding.  These cases can involve a great deal of litigation and can have a lasting effect on the amount of child support ordered, the wellbeing of the children, and the emotional wellbeing of all parties involved.  Due to the serious consequences at issue in a child custody case, you should seek a complete and confidential consultation with an experienced Montgomery County child support lawyer before filing anything in the courts.

Requirements for Filing a Child Support Action in Maryland

The first thing that should be discussed is the basic requirement for filing a child support action in the state of Maryland.  It should be noted that you can file a child support action during a Maryland divorce case, limited divorce case (legal separation), or by itself, especially in cases where the parents are not married.

The basic requirements for filing a child support case in Howard County, or any other Maryland county, is that the child must currently be in the state of Maryland and must have lived here for the past six months.  The case should be filed in the county where the child lives.  For example, if the child lives in Bethesda, you would file your child support case in Montgomery County Circuit Court located in Rockville.

The court can also have proper jurisdiction to hear a child support case, even if the child is not currently in Maryland, but Maryland was where the child lived permanently in the past six months and you still reside in the state of Maryland.

Another ground for filing a child custody case in Maryland is if the child is presently in the state and was abandoned or emergency protection is needed.  Again, this can be somewhat confusing, and you should speak with a Rockville child support attorney before taking action.

Once you have filed a case, and the other parent has been properly served, the court will typically hold a hearing during which the judge can enter a temporary order.  The temporary order, as is the case with a permanent order, is based upon what the court believes is in the best interest of the minor children involved.

While this is not the final order, as the name implies, the temporary order can have a significant impact on the rest of the case, and you should make sure to consult with a lawyer before attempting to file the case on your own.  The earlier your lawyer is involved in the process, the better your chances for a successful outcome within the confines of the situation.

It should also be noted that, regardless of your basis for jurisdiction, the court will likely require both parents to attend a child support and custody education seminar, as outlined in Section 7-103.2 of the Maryland Code.

The family law attorneys at DiPietro & Wise, LLC have years of experience handling domestic relations cases in jurisdictions across Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland.  Contact us to schedule a consultation.

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