Maryland Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals Maryland Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum Maryland Products Divorce by County
Can a Third Party Be Granted Child Custody in Maryland?
In a dispute between a parent and a non-parent third party, there is a presumption that the best interest of the child is served by awarding custody to the parent.
This presumption can only be rebutted if: (1) the parent is unfit; or (2) exceptional circumstances exist so that custody with the parent would not be in the child's best interest.
A third party seeking custody must rebut the parent presumption by a preponderance of the evidence (a more likely than not or more than 50% standard).
When a third party is granted custody, it is always subject to modification based on a material change in circumstances.
A parent's custodial rights are not terminated by the award of custody to a third party, nor is the parent precluded from seeking custody in the future. The parent may also be granted the right to visit and/or communicate with the child as part of a third party custody award.
Maryland law requires equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The court determines a fair award of property and debt. Unless the couple can reach a settlement, the court divides the marital property, pension, retirement, profit sharing or deferred-compensation plans. The court considers contributions of each party, the well being of the family, the property value, the economic circumstances of each spouse as well as current situations such as age, mental state, the duration of the marriage, and the interest each party has in the property.
Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Established in 1996
Copyright© 1996-. All rights reserved by MH Sub I, LLC dba 3StepDivorce.