Maryland Custody Law
The information on this page is for General information only about Maryland Child Custody Law, and is not meant to replace legal advice.
Family Law varies from state to state and the information on this page is in regard to Maryland Family Law only.
Maryland Family Law is drawn from the sources of the Maryland Code, Maryland Court Rules, and
Maryland Case Law.
The Maryland Family Law court system is complex and Maryland Family Law requires Judges to consider many
variables and laws before making a decision in each Family Law case.
Individual laws cannot be fully comprehended without understanding how they interact with each other and
within the elaborate Maryland Family Law Court system, and trying to interpret individual laws
without understanding how they each interact with each other and within this system could decrease the
chance of achieving an outcome favorable to you in your case.
It is in your best interest to consult an experienced Family Law attorney to get
specific legal advice regarding your individual case or situation
before making any agreements or filing anything regarding a divorce or custody case.
Family Law varies from state to state.   There is NO presumption of JOINT Custody in Maryland.
Some states do have a rebuttable presumption of Joint Custody -- Maryland is NOT one of those
Although there are several main Factors Maryland Courts consider when awarding Custody,
there is no specific
weight or priority assigned to these Factors and there is no specific formula like there is for
awarding child support.
The facts and circumstances of each particular case will be
The relevant case law in Maryland holds that "there is no such thing as a simple custody case," that "custody
cases are like fingerprints because no two are exactly the same," and "that there is no
litmus test that provides a quick and easy answer to custody matters."
When deciding Custody cases, Maryland Judges consider the main Factors listed below.
These main Factors are listed as a starting point for people wanting to know very basic things
about Maryland Custody Law.
Sincerity of each of the parent's request;
Changing Existing Custody Orders in Maryland
Capacity and willingness of the parents to Communicate and to reach shared decisions affecting the
Flexibility of each of the parents;
Prior voluntary abandonment or surrender of custody of the child;
Length of the separation of the parents;
Relationship established between the child and each parent;
Desire of the natural parents and any Agreements between them;
Fitness of the parents;
Character and reputation of the parents;
Potential for maintaining natural family relations;
Preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form a rational judgment;
Material opportunities affecting the future life of the child;
Age, health, sex, and number of children;
Residences of the parents and the opportunity for visitation;
Willingness of each of the parents to share custody;
Potential disruption of child's social and school life;
Geographic proximity of parental homes;
Demands of parental employment;
Age and number of children;
Financial status of parents;
Impact on State or Federal Assistance;
Benefit to parents
*Maryland Family Court Judges consider many variables when considering each of these main Factors.
Knowing this list of these main Factors does not necessarily include an understanding of the dynamics
that often occur in Maryland Family Law courts or of the many other variables Maryland Family Court
Judges often consider as Sub-Factors to many of these main Factors.
Maryland Child Custody Law Overview