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Child Custody in Maryland

While there are many divorces that do actually go quite smoothly, if there is going to be a fight between the parties, the fight will usually involve the issues of money, such as property division, child support, or alimony, or it will involve the issue of child custody. Child custody fights can get quite bad, but it is important to remember that it is often in the best interests of the child for the parents to work together and get along.  That being said, it is not always possible, if the other parent is unwilling to be reasonable.  

One of the best things you can do is to speak with an experienced Rockville child custody lawyer who will work together with you to form a mutual agreement whenever that is in the best interest for you and your children, but will also fight for your rights when that is what is required to get you the results you deserve.

One of the first things that is helpful to understand is how to file a child custody case in Maryland. In order to file a child custody case, you must first satisfy the jurisdictional requirements.  

Jurisdictional Requirements of Child Custody Cases in Maryland. 

There are a variety of conditions that must be met for you to file your child custody action in Maryland. In order to file a child support case in Maryland, say for example if you live in Bethesda, the child must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to commencement of the action.  The child custody case should be filed in the county in which you live.  If you live in Rockville and need to a file a child custody case, you would file the case in the Montgomery County Circuit Court.  On the other hand, if you lived in Upper Marlboro, you would file the case in PG County.

One of the issues that arises in Maryland child custody cases is what happens when the child lived in the state for a least six months, but the other parent has taken the child out of the state.  As long as you still live in Maryland, the court should have jurisdiction to hear the case, despite the fact that the minor child is no longer living in the state.

After working with your Bethesda child custody lawyer to file a petition, the court will generally schedule what is known as a temporary hearing if one is so requested by the parties.  In many cases, the parties will agree to keep things as they are now during the court date, and the judge will not actually take testimony or hear other evidence.  On the other hand, if one party will not agree, the court can hold a hearing and make a decision as to what is in the best interests of the child.  However, this will only be a temporary order that is in place, as the court case is pending until a final custody hearing can be held or the parties reach a private settlement agreement.  

If you need assistance with a child custody case or any other family law matter in the District of Columbia or Maryland, please contact the Law Offices of Daniel A. Gross for a consultation.