Like other states, Maryland law has limits on when parents who are living apart from each other can change their residence.
Specifically, judges in Maryland have leeway to require, as part of their child custody orders in a divorce or paternity action, that parents give notice to the court, or to the other parent, of any plans to move.
If ordered, the notice has to be at least 90 days before the move, although judges can waive or reduce the notice requirement in some circumstances, such as domestic violence or a financial emergency.
Parents who are planning to move should review their custody and parenting time orders carefully, as they may have certain details including how much information the parent has to provide about the move.
Unless the order says otherwise, the notice requirement applies to all moves, including local moves within the state.
If a Rockville parent breaks the notice requirement without a good legal reason, the judge may impose penalties on the parent and may also consider the violation as a reason for changing custody.
What happens after I give notice?
The advance notice will give the other parent the opportunity to ask for a change of custody or parenting time if he or she objects to the move or believes the move will require some changes in the parenting plan.
If the parents cannot agree on changes, a judge will have to decide whether to allow the move, change custody, adjust parenting time or take other actions.
When making this decision, the court will consider a number of factors with its focus being on the best interest of the child.
A parent who is interested in moving, or who wants to oppose a planned move, may wish to have an experienced advocate make the parent’s case before the judge.