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Is Child Custody Modifiable in Maryland?

Custody and visitation are always modifiable by the Court if there has been a "material change in circumstances" since the last Court Order, and the change "fundamentally affects the best interests of the child."

The Court retains the power to modify custody and visitation Orders for children until age 18.

When one parent relocates to another state, affecting the custody or visitation rights of the other parent, the relocation will be considered a per se "material change in circumstances" warranting a request for modification of custody or visitation. Other material change in circumstances may include a change in the child's needs, a change in a parent's schedule or a change in a parent's treatment of the child.

When the Court modifies custody, the Court may also reconsider the child support obligation if requested by one of the parties.


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Under Maryland law, child support is determined based on the Income Shares Model. Therefore the monthly support amount for the child is proportionally shared between the two parents based on their incomes, past W-2s, and child support worksheets. One parent will then pay the other parent his or her share of child support. Considerations will also be made for existing debt, property settlement, mortgages, other children or any other financial considerations.
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