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Where Can I File For Custody in Maryland?
Generally, a custody action should be filed in the "home state" of the child.
The "home state" of a child is where the child has resided with a parent or guardian for at least 6 consecutive months immediately before filing the custody action.
For example, assume the child resided in Maryland with one parent for more than 6 months before the other parent moved the child to Virginia. The custody action may still be filed in Maryland as the child's "home state" (where the child most recently resided for 6 consecutive months). After the child resides in Virginia for 6 consecutive months without a custody action filed in Maryland, Virginia would become the child's "home state."
The rationale for "home state" jurisdiction in custody cases is to prevent forum shopping and to allow the custody case to be heard where there are significant connections and evidence of the present and future care, protection and welfare of the child.
Maryland Family Law recognizes eight different grounds for divorce. Adultery, voluntary separation (for at least 12 months), imprisonment (with a sentence of at least three years and at least 12 months already served), and living separate and apart (for at least two years), are among some of the reasons. For the court to grant a divorce based upon any of these grounds, they must be proved in court through evidence and testimony.
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