Self-Help Services

In Maryland there are a number of organizations that can provide legal information to help you represent yourself and help with forms to file. Legal services may include help completing forms, answering questions about legal problems, and preparing for your day in court.

Some of the kinds of cases the programs may be able to assist you with include:

  • Child Support
  • Contracts, warranties and/or consumer disputes
  • Custody/Visitation
  • Debt and Bankruptcy
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Violence/Peace Orders
  • Employment and wage claim issues
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Name Change
  • Replevin/Detinue
  • Small Claims
  • Wills, estate planning, probate, living wills

Programs may be able to provide referrals for cases too complex for clients to persue on their own.

The Maryland Judiciary Department of Family Administration runs family law self-help centers throughout the state of Maryland. Attorneys are available to assist pro se litigants fill out family law forms.

Access to Justice Commission: The Maryland Access to Justice Commission will develop, consolidate, coordinate and implement policy initiatives to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for persons who encounter barriers in gaining access to Maryland's civil justice system.

Allegany Law Foundation Family Law Self Help Clinic: Allegany Law in co-operation with the Allegany County Circuit Court provides legal assistance to individuals in the community in filling out court forms in family law cases including divorce, custody, visitation, child support and name changes.

Ask A Lawyer in the Law Library: At the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library. Talk with a volunteer lawyer for up to 20 minutes about your civil, non-family legal problem for free! No appointment is necessary.  Just check-in at the law library's information desk. 410-222-1387 library@circuitcourt.org New dates have also been added at the North County Area Library.

Charles County Family Law and General Civil Practice Clinics are sponsored by the Charles County Bar Association. The Family Law Clinic is open on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. A volunteer lawyer will be available for consultation on matters such as divorce, child support, custody, visitation, adoption, name change, paternity, and domestic violence.

The General Civil Practice Clinic is open on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. A lawyer will be available for consultation on general civil matters. The clinics are located in the Charles County Circuit Courthouse next to Courtroom F.

Courthouse Family Law Clinic: At the Washington County Circuit Court. This clinic is provided through a contract with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service ("MVLS").  Every Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m..

Glen Burnie District Court Self Help Center: The Self Help Center at the District counrt in Glen Burnie provides limited legal services for people who are not represented by an attorney. Limited legal services include help completing forms, answering questions about legal problems, and preparing for your day in court. If you need additional help, we may refer you to mediation, other legal organizations, or the private bar. Monday - Friday from 8:30am - 4:30pm.

Howard County Civil Law Self-Help Center: The Civil Law Self-Help Center is open on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary. The Civil Law Self-Help Center is located in the Law Library in the Circuit Court. An attorney provides free legal assistance in civil non-domestic matters, to walk-ins. Some areas of the law that are civil include, landlord/tenant, contracts, small claims, advance medical directives, expunging records and homeowner association disputes. Visitors must be self-represented and have low income to qualify for service. If you have any questions, please contact the Law Librarian at the Circuit Court at (410) 313-2135.

Just Advice: Sit down with a lawyer at the Legal Grind to discuss any of your legal questions and get brief advice. The cost is $10 - cash only please. Coffee & snacks included. We can also help with expungement of court records for only the cost of court filings. Just Advice will assist with family law, housing, criminal, employment, expungement, insurance, SSI, tax, elder law cases.

The Kent County Family Law Assistance Program (FLAP) is held every Wednesday morning from 9 am to noon at the Kent County Courthouse, 2nd floor.  A Family attorney is available to meet and consult with you on issues of divorce, custody, visitation, child support, modifications, and name change.  FLAP operates on a first come, first served basis.  Income eligibility guidelines are applied.  There is no charge.

Need help with Maryland Custody Forms?

If you cannot find an attorney to assist you to file for custody or visitation, to file an answer to a complaint for custody or visitation, to file a motion to modify a custody or visitation order, or to seek sanctions for contempt of a custody or visitation order, you can get help online through an online automated interview.  This interview will guide you to complete the court forms you need to file.  
 
The Maryland Legal Aid Bureau posted this online tool for filing the Circuit Court forms for custody, visitation and contempt, as well as the form answers to these actions in Circuit Court. The tool will walk you through a series of questions about your case. The information you provide on the website during this interview will be used to select the proper Court form to ask for the help you need from the Court, and to complete the information required by the form.  Using this website, you will be able to print a completed form to file a Complaint for Custody, a Complaint for Visitation, an Answer to a Complaint for Custody or Visitation, a Counter Complaint for Custody or Visitation, a Motion to Modify Custody or Visitation, a Motion for Contempt, or an Answer to a Motion for Custody, Visitation, or Contempt.
 
At the end of the process, the website can email you a copy of the PDF of the proper Maryland Domestic Relations form filled out and ready for your review.  Once you sign this form and serve it on the other party, the form can be filed at the local Circuit Court.  Find the interview at Maryland Court Forms interview.

Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”