AttachmentSize
Microsoft Office document icon CDWorkbook-2017-05-05.doc545.5 KB
Microsoft Office document icon Spanish language version409.5 KB

What is this Project?

The Maryland Custody & Divorce Client Notebook helps clients to navigate a family law case from start to finish, with the help of an attorney (or attorneys) from self-help, legal services, pro bono, or the paid private bar.  The notebook itself helps clients keep papers and evidence with them, and in one place.  Inside, the "Topic of Dispute" chart is the heart of the tool, helping clients to identify and understand the key issues and evidence that will make or break their case.  A calendar and journal help the client record facts and gather evidence even before they find a lawyer.  And the other sections help a lawyer (or the client, if no lawyer is involved) to navigate a settlement or a trial.  

 

It is important for a client to speak with a legal professional who can explain how the notebook works, but anyone can make one.  Here are the steps:

  1. Get a 2-inch 3-ring binder, and two pocket-folders that can clip into a notebook;
  2. Print the Word document that is linked above on this page;
  3. Punch holes and place it in the binder;
  4. Insert tabs at the places the word document shows (tabs can be purchased, or can be sticky notes stapled to the provided page - but it's important to have the tabs);
  5. Place the two pocket-folders in the notebook (one to hold your evidence, and one for court papers, before you get to hole punch them).

Latest Revision:  May 5, 2017

Workbook Links:

Introductory Material

A copy of the license is available at Creative Commons.
You can provide feedback at limited.scope.workbook@gmail.com

Legal Topic Checklists

G1. I want to file a case

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/file-caserespond-case#fileacase

G2. Another party has already filed a case.

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/file-caserespond-case#respond

G9. Who pays the attorney fees?

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/get-help

Link two: https://www.peoples-law.org/tips-hiring-private-attorney

Link three: https://www.peoples-law.org/reduced-fee-services

Link four: https://www.peoples-law.org/find-attorneys-charging-fee

Learn more: Family Law for the People

Child- related issues

C1. Emergency – the child is in danger

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/child-custody-maryland

C3. Paternity – proving who is the father

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/paternity

C4. Parentage – who has the right to be considered a parent

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/grandparent-visitation-rights

C5. Decision-making Authority (Legal Custody)

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/child-custody-maryland

C6. Parenting Time (Physical Custody)

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/child-custody-maryland

C7. Access (Visitation)

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/visitationsupervised-visitation

C8. Restrictions, conditions, or monitoring of access (visitation)

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/visitationsupervised-visitation

C10. Getting an attorney for my child

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/attorneys-children-custody-cases

C12. Child support – there is no order in place

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/legal-overview-child-support

Financial Statement (Child Support Guidelines) (www.mdcourts.gov/family/forms/ccdr030.pdf)

C14. Child support – there is already an order – it is being ignored

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/enforcement-collection-child-support

Link two: https://www.peoples-law.org/garnishment-child-support-and-alimony

Divorce- related issues

D1. Emergency - I need to have and use property right away (residence, vehicle, bank account, etc.)

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/marital-and-non-marital-property

D4. I want a limited divorce (parties stay married, but the court enters some orders)

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/grounds-limited-divorce

D5. I want an absolute divorce (marriage ends)

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/grounds-absolute-divorce

D6. Financial support (alimony) – I need support

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/alimony-maryland

Link two: https://www.peoples-law.org/alimony-quiz

D7. Financial support (alimony) – the other party wants support

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/garnishment-child-support-and-alimony

Financial Statement (General) (www.mdcourts.gov/family/forms/ccdr031.pdf)

D10. Who gets the home?

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/property-disposition-divorce

D11. Who gets the vehicles?

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/property-disposition-divorce

D12. Who gets the money?

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/property-disposition-divorce

D13. Who gets the retirement benefits?

Link one: https://www.peoples-law.org/pensions-and-retirement-accounts-overlooked-...

Link two: https://www.peoples-law.org/erisa-pensions-and-social-security

Joint Statement of Parties Concerning Marital and Non-Marital Property (www.mdcourts.gov/family/forms/ccdr033.pdf)

 

Finding Legal Help

1. Your county’s family law self-help center. (http://mdcourts.gov/family/familylawassistance.html#familyservices)
2. Reduced-fee or limited-scope lawyer referral service. (https://www.peoples-law.org/reduced-fee-services)
3. County bar association. (http://www.msba.org/public/lawyer-referral.aspx)
4. Maryland Court Self-Help Center. (www.peoples-law.org - Click on the image that says, "Click to chat.")
5. Legal services program. (www.peoples-law.org/directory)
6. Hotline (www.peoples-law.org/hotlines) or http://Maryland.freelegalanswers.org.
7. County law library. (http://www.lawlib.state.md.us/researchtools/otherlibraries.html) (mdlaw.library@mdcourts.gov)

 

Financial Papers

Financial Statement (General) (also called the “Long form”) (http://www.mdcourts.gov/family/forms/ccdr031.pdf)
Financial Statement (Child Support Guidelines) (also called the “Short form”)  (http://www.mdcourts.gov/family/forms/ccdr030.pdf)
Joint Statement of Parties Concerning Marital and Non-Marital Property (also called the “9-207”) (http://www.mdcourts.gov/family/forms/ccdr033.pdf)

 

One step at a time

Review safety plan resources - https://www.peoples-law.org/creating-safety-plan-0

Write down a budget, using a Long Finanacial Statement.  (Clip it in the Financial Papers tab)  http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/forms/ccdr031.pdf

Complete a Short Finanacial Statement.  (Clip it in the Financial Papers tab)  http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/forms/ccdr030.pdf

Write a list of your assets – include everything, and let a lawyer advise you if any items should be left off.  (Clip it in the Financial Papers tab)  Use the Joint Statement of Property form as a guide.  http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/forms/ccdr031.pdf

Run the child support guidelines (www.peoples-law.org/calculating-child-support

Research about a “life plan” to become self-supporting.  (For example, look into local community college options.)  www.peoples-law.org/workbook#life

To get an idea of what the courts can and cannot do for you, we recommend that you attend a Family Law for the People seminar.  Visit www.peoples-law.org/family-law-for-the-people to find a session near you, and to sign up.

If you can’t afford the fees – complete and file a Motion to Waive the Pre-payment of the Filing Fee, available at the courthouse or http://mdcourts.gov/courtforms/joint/ccdc089.pdf.

Have the Opposing Party(ies) Served:   The court will issue a WRIT OF SUMMONS (or, if you are filing a Petition for Contempt, the court will issue a completed Show Cause Order).   It is YOUR responsibility to make sure the other party receives a copy of the Writ (or Show Cause Order) and a copy of the documents you filed, within the time limit (often 30 days).  You cannot personally be the one to serve the other parties.  For more information, read https://www.peoples-law.org/frequently-asked-questions-about-service-process-maryland.

Discovery Related Documents

Read more about discovery at:  https://www.peoples-law.org/maryland-circuit-court-discovery

 

Creative Commons License
The Maryland Custody & Divorce Client Notebook by Joanna Shapiro & Dave Pantzer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

QR code with this web address embedded

No
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, 2017.”

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, download Adobe Acrobat Reader.