Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney. I hope I may be of assistance with your issue.
1) Determine if Maryland Courts have jurisdiction for a custody case. Jurisdiction for a child custody decision lies in the state where the child resides. If a parent has recently removed the child from the state of Maryland, and the parties were married or divorced in Maryland, the state’s Courts retain jurisdiction, as long as the parent who removed the children from the state can be located and notified of the custody action.
2) Determine which court should hear your custody action. If you already have a custody order you should file for custody in the court that issued the order. If you do not already have a custody order, you should file in the county court in the county where the child resides or last resided.
3) Decide if you will file alone or if your children’s other parent will join in the action. Talk to your children’s other parent, and if you can come to an agreement on custody, filing together can make the process go much more quickly. However, if you find that cannot come to an agreement, you may want to file alone.
4) Obtain the proper custody form. The Maryland Courts provide free forms for divorce, an establishment of custody, and modification of custody. You may download the forms by visiting the Court’s Family Law Forms section at http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/formsindex.html#domesticrelations. The Court provides four different forms, or sets of forms, that can be used for child custody cases or cases which involve child custody. Those are:
Obtain other forms, as necessary. Besides the Petition for custody or divorce, a party filing a lawsuit for custody may also need to file other forms, such as a/an:
Complete your forms. When completing your forms, type or print neatly in blue or black ink. You can find instruction for most custody and family law forms on the, under ‘Instructions’. If you need help, the Clerk of Courts in the County where you will file your suit may be able to provide you with a limited amount of assistance. However, some questions may be considered asking for legal advice, and the Clerk will not be able to answer those questions. If you need assistance that the Clerk of Courts cannot provide, check your county Court’s website for free and low-cost legal aid. You can locate your Court’s website at http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/localcontacts.html
Prepare your forms for filing. Once complete, you will need to prepare your forms for filing with the Court. To do this:
File your forms. Take your prepared forms and filing fee to the County Clerk’s Office for filing with the Court. The fee will be at least $300; if you cannot afford that, then ask the judge for a waiver. The Clerk will assist you with stamping your forms and filing them. Be sure that you get a stamped copy of each form that you file, so you have a record of what was filed and when.
Serve your children’s other parent. After filing you forms with the Court, you will need to make sure that your child’s other parent, or his or her attorney, gets a copy of each form that you filed. You can do this by mailing the copies via Certified Mail or by hiring the county Sheriff or a process server to serve the copies personally. If you are having trouble locating the other parent, then check out the information at Serve-Court-Papers for more details.
I have not heard from you and I wanted to follow up. Do you have any questions regarding the information provided? Please do not forget to rate my answer so that the question will be completed for Just Answer. Thank you!
It's been about a week and you have not responded. I know this is a lot of information. Do you have any questions? If not, please rate my answer so that I may receive credit and the question will be closed.
Please do not forget to rate my answer so that this question may be closed. Thank you!
I wanted to follow up now that it is August. Please let me know if this information was helpful. Also please rate my answer so that the question may be marked as completed. Thank you!