This week, the Maryland Judiciary issued a statement on matters concerning children and families. A press release describing the statement can be found here.
Child custody during the COVID-19 crisis
The statement by the judiciary reminds parents that all court orders for child custody, visitation, and child support are still in effect. The statement provides:
"All court orders for a child’s custody, parenting time, and child support are still in effect. In some situations, if permitted under the court order, custodians can jointly adjust their shared parenting responsibilities in ways that they agree are best for the children. If custodians are not able to agree, the court order controls."
"Working with limited staff, the Circuit Courts are only hearing family law emergencies (custody, child access, visitation, and support) where there is a credible risk of imminent and substantial physical or emotional harm to a child or parent."
Child support during the COVID-19 crisis
Child support must continue to be paid as ordered by the court.
Protective orders, peace orders, and extreme risk protective orders
As of March 25, 2020, new petitions for protective orders, peace orders, and extreme risk protective orders are being handled by the district court commissioners. The judiciary suggests calling the commissioners directly before going to the commissioner's office. Because the courts are closed, a protective order, peace order or ERPO will last until the second day that the courts reopen, which, if the courts reopen on May 4, a hearing on the temporary order will be scheduled for May 5, 2020.
The contact numbers for the district court commissioners on the lower Eastern Shore are:
Dorchester County: (410) 901-1430
Somerset County: (410) 548-4735
Wicomico County: (410) 548-7030
Worcester County: (410) 723-6659
Help with your child custody matter or domestic violence case
With the courts hearing very few cases during the COVID-19 crisis, it can be difficult to navigate getting relief that you might need for your family law matter. If you need assistance with your child custody dispute or any family law matters, contact the lawyers at Anthenelli, Phoebus & Hickman, LLC today.