In the state of Maryland, all cases involving contested custody or visitation matters will be referred to mediation if the court finds that mediation would likely be beneficial to the parties or the child. The Court may not order mediation if there is an allegation of domestic violence or child abuse, which is defined in Maryland Code, Family Law Section 4-501.
If the court finds that mediation is appropriate, the court will designate a mediator from a list of qualified mediators. The court may require the parties to attend a maximum of four hours of mediation in not more than two sessions. However, the mediator may recommend to the court to order an additional four hours if necessary. Mediation will be limited to issues of custody and visitation.
Read the Rule: Maryland Rule 9-205
Most Courts in Maryland have either mediators that are employed by the courts, or a system for referring parties to private providers who are qualified in child custody and visitation cases. Questions? Talk to the Family Services Coordinator for your court. Family Court Support Services can also offer referrals to a variety of types of resources for handling and custody related issues. The types of services and referrals vary by county.