Annulment is a relatively rare special action that establishes that your marriage never existed.
- Children in Need of Assistance (CINA)
A court will find a child "in need of assistance" (CINA) if the local Department of Social Services (DSS) proves: that a child has been abused or neglected, or has a developmental disability or mental disorder; and that the child’s parents, guardian, or custodian do not give proper care and attention to the child’s needs.
- Calculating Child Support
During the 2010 Legislative session the MD General Assembly voted to revise the current child support guidelines. These new guidelines went into effect on Oct 1, 2010.
- Calculating Child Support in Split Custody Cases
When two parents have more than one child, it is possible for each parent to have the primary physical custody of at least one of the children.
- Enforcement & Collection of Child Support
In Maryland, each county has established a child support enforcement agency that can assist in collecting child support.
- Garnishment for Child Support and Alimony
The law allows a larger amount of earnings to be garnished for child support or alimony than for ordinary debts.
- Legal Overview of Child Support
Both parents have a legal duty to support their child based on their ability to provide that support. Since 1990, Maryland has had child support guidelines in effect, which provide a formula for calculating child support based on a proportion of each parent's gross income.
- Modifying Child Support
Changes can be made to the amount of child support ordered by a court. These modifications are usually based on a "changed circumstance" of one of the custodial parents.
Establishing paternity is the process of determining who is the legal father of a child.
Custody & Visitation
- Attorneys for Children in custody cases
In a child custody case, or a contested child support case, the judge may choose to appoint a lawyer for the child.
- Child Custody in Maryland
This article is designed to give you general information on how courts decide custody and visitation rights in Maryland.
- Kinship Care Resources
In Maryland, a person assuming care of a relative’s child is referred to as a kinship caregiver.
- Visitation/Supervised Visitation
Visitation is the part of the court order that defines when, how and where the non-custodial parent may have contact with the child.
- Alimony in Maryland
Alimony is a periodic payment by one former spouse to the other to provide an opportunity for the recipient spouse to become self-supporting.
- Enforcing Orders
When a former spouse fails to comply with a court order or the terms of a private separation agreement that has been incorporated into an order of the court (such as a divorce decree or order for custody), the other spouse may ask the court for help in gaining compliance.
- Grounds for Absolute Divorce
To obtain an absolute divorce, one spouse must first prove that at least one ground for absolute divorce exists. The following is a brief description of each ground for divorce in Maryland.
- Grounds for Limited Divorce
To obtain a limited divorce, you must first prove at least one of four grounds.
- How will divorce or separation affect my immigration status?
How Will Divorce or Separation Affect My Lawful Status?
- Marital and Non-Marital Property in Maryland
With a few important exceptions, all the property that was acquired during a marriage is considered marital property.
- Overview of Divorce in Maryland
Divorce is the ending of a marriage ordered by a court. Because marriage is considered a civil contract between the parties under Maryland law, the complete dissolution of marriage is a divorce. In Maryland, there are two types of divorce: absolute and limited. Limited divorce is sometimes referred to as a legal separation.
- Property Disposition in Divorce
With a few important exceptions, “marital property” is all the property that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage (also including most of the property that you or your spouse acquired “individually” during the marriage).
- Qualified Domestic Relations Order
A QDRO (pronounced “quad row”) is a specific type of domestic relations order that recognizes the right of an “alternate payee” to receive all or part of a retirement or pension plan, which belongs to another person.
- Residency Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Maryland
To file for divorce in Maryland one party must be resident in Maryland. To show that you are a Maryland resident for purposes of a divorce, you must be physically living in Maryland.
- Separation Agreements
A couple with little hope of reconciliation may privately enter into an oral or written agreement to live apart.
- Visitation and Custody Rights for Non-Parents
When a court decides a dispute about child access (custody or visitation), it must balance what is best for the child, with a parent’s constitutional right to direct the way the child is raised.
- Guardianship of a Minor
Guardianship is a sub-set of custody. Often, a third party just needs to obtain guardianship for health and/or educational purposes.
- Standby Guardianship
A Standby Guardian is a person appointed by a parent or parents of a child to take care of the child in the event that the parent (s) becomes deceased or incapacitated, or if the parent becomes debilitated by an illness or injury and consents to the appointment.
- Common Law Marriages
A "common law" marriage is a relationship in which a couple lives together but has not participated in a lawful ceremony.
- Crimes Against Marriage
In Maryland, there are two criminal acts which are defined as “crimes against marriage.” These acts, though they occur privately within a marriage, can be prosecuted as criminal offenses.
- License & Officiation
Applying for a marriage license
- Who May Marry in Maryland
Same sex marriage is legal in Maryland, as long as the law does not otherwise prohibit the indviduals from marrying (for example, where they are closely related).
- Correcting or changing the name on a Maryland birth certificate
There are many reasons you might wish to change the name on a birth certificate. There are rules for each type of change. This includes changing from one name to another, correcting a misspelled name, adding a missing name, or correcting a parent’s information.
- Name Change for an Adult
A person can change their name for any reason. The only condition for a name change is that the name change is not for any illegal or fraudulent purpose and the new name does not interfere with the rights of other.
- Name Change for a Child
To change the name of a child or minor, other than in connection with an adoption or divorce, a petition for name change needs to be filed in Maryland circuit court in the county where the child is a resident.
- Name Change: Upon Divorce or Marriage
As part of your divorce, you can ask the court for an order to resume your prior name.
- Issues for Minors Seeking Emancipation from Parents
There are several issues that may arise when a minor wants or needs to seek emancipation.
- School Enrollment and Informal Kinship Care Arrangements
"Informal kinship care" means a living arrangement in which a relative of a child, who is not in the care, custody, or guardianship of the local department of social services, provides for the care and custody of the child due to a serious family hardship.