Divorce in Maryland with a Child

Divorce in Maryland: Can a Child Choose Where to Live?

It’s hard sufficient for adults to just accept that a divorce court can decide whilst and how they see their kids. Telling a baby that he should live where a judge says he need to — and that he has no preference in the remember — may be doubly tough. Several states take a toddler’s choice into attention while figuring out custody to try to prevent this hassle — and Maryland is one of them. In reality, the country is one of the extra modern in relation to accommodating the feelings of kids involved in a divorce.

Your Child’s Preference

Like all different states, Maryland has a statutory list of things that a judge have to remember while determining custody — problems that are taken into consideration to be in your child’s excellent pursuits. Maryland courts have long taken the placement that your child’s opinion subjects, and his desire is blanketed as one of the state’s high-quality hobbies elements. The statutes do not cite a specific age at which your baby is vintage sufficient to have his needs heard, but. Maryland judges have considered the possibilities of youngsters as young as age 10, eleven and 12, however kids a while 7 and 8 are from time to time deemed too younger.


Maryland’s reluctance to set a statutory age by which children need to be heard permits judges a variety of leeway. It also puts extra stress on them to play the function of psychologist. Judges must decide whether a toddler is truly parroting some thing he is been advised to say – in particular if he’s young – or if his feelings are true. For example, in the case of Wallis v. Wallis, the court docket decided that the determine looking for custody coached the kids and as such, the judge did now not consider their needs. A judge can, and generally will, interview your toddler with out you present. He’ll gauge your child’s adulthood and weigh his reasoning, such as though he simply wants to be with you because you are the extra lenient parent.

Other Factors

Although Maryland gives some weight in your infant’s emotions, his choice does not exist in a void. The nation’s other first-rate hobby factors come into play as properly, and a judge must recollect them. Your toddler’s wishes are only one aspect of the very last custody choice. Courts should additionally don’t forget issues consisting of which discern changed into commonly the kid’s caregiver while the marriage become intact and which figure is maximum probably to promote a persevered courting for the child with the determine who is not granted custody. The decide will even weigh your bodily and mental competencies to care for your infant.

Teenagers’ Rights

Maryland is somewhat precise in that it allows your toddler to take subjects into his personal hands while he is antique enough. Teenagers age 16 or older can petition the court themselves to ask for a exchange of custody if they’re unhappy with the arrangement ordered to your decree. If your toddler does this, however, it does not imply the courtroom can’t or may not take the country’s different first-class pastimes elements into attention. Your child has the weight of evidence to establish that any such exchange supports his emotional and bodily well-being.