5 Things to Know About Child Custody in Maryland

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When you and your co-parent are at odds about child custody, it’s important that you know everything you can about child custody laws in Maryland. Knowing your rights as a parent and all the possible outcomes of a child custody battle can help better prepare you for your child custody case. Check out these five things you should know about child custody in Maryland.



1. Maryland Grants Emergency Custody

If a parent believes that there is an imminent risk of substantial and immediate harm to a minor child or their parent, Maryland courts can grant emergency custody. Emergency custody procedures vary from Circuit Court to Circuit Court. But if emergency custody is granted, it’s a temporary order that still requires you to continue with your child custody case. 


2. Maryland Also Grants Temporary Custody 

Temporary custody in Maryland, also known as pendente lite, is different from emergency custody. Unlike emergency custody, there does not need to be an imminent threat to the child for it to be granted. Instead, temporary custody grants a parent custody of a minor child until the final custody decision has been made.


3. Custody is Decided Based on the “Best Interests of the Child”

To determine child custody, Maryland courts will consider “the best interests of the child”. To determine the best interests of the child, they consider a variety of factors, including:

  • Who is their primary caregiver?
  • Parent fitness
  • Parent character and reputation 
  • Ability to maintain family relationships
  • Child preference 
  • Length of separation between the parent and child

If you and your co-parent are working together to create a parenting plan, it should take into consideration these things as well. 


4. If Both Parents Share Custody, One May Still Be Required to Pay Child Support

If you and your co-parent share custody and agree that no child support should be implemented, then child support is not required. However, if you and your co-parent share custody, one parent can still request child support. Child support is determined by a mathematical formula that includes, but is not limited to:

Who has physical custody 

Number of overnights each parent has

Gross income of the parties

Cost of child’s health insurance, daycare, and extraordinary medical costs


5. Grandparents Do Not Have Inherent Custody Rights

Under Maryland law, grandparents are considered a third party unless deemed a de facto parent. Maryland defines a de facto parent as someone who is a non-biological or adoptive parent of the children but has a parent-like relationship with the child. If grandparents are not deemed de facto parents and are petitioning for custody, they will be treated fundamentally the same as a third-party practitioner. 


Need Help with Your Child Custody Case?

If you have more questions about child custody laws in Maryland or need an experienced child custody attorney to help guide you through the process, look to Alan L. Billian. We’re a family lawyer you can trust to help you get the results you want. Contact us today to request a free, 30-minute consultation.

Fill out the form below to schedule a consultation.

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