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What to do if you receive a Complaint for Custody

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Child Custody

Receiving a Complaint for Custody can be a stressful and confusing experience. Understanding your rights and responsibilities under Maryland law is crucial.

Consider the following if you have recently been served with a custody complaint in Maryland.

Review the complaint

Take the time to carefully read through the complaint you’ve received. Understand the allegations made against you and the relief sought by the plaintiff. Pay close attention to any deadlines for responding to the complaint.

Gather relevant documents

Collect any documents or evidence that may support your case, such as communication records, financial information, and documentation of your involvement in your child’s life. Organize these materials to present a clear and compelling case in court.

Respond to the complaint

In Maryland, you typically have 30 days to file a written response to the complaint with the court. Failure to respond within this timeframe may result in a default judgment being entered against you.

Consider mediation

Courts encourage parents to resolve custody disputes amicably through mediation whenever possible. Mediation can be a less adversarial and more cost-effective alternative to litigation. In most cases, courts will require the parties to attend mediation.

Prepare for court

If mediation is unsuccessful or not an option, be prepared to present your case in court. Attend all scheduled hearings and follow your attorney’s guidance regarding courtroom etiquette and procedures. Be honest and cooperative throughout the legal proceedings.

Prioritize the best interests of the child

Above all, keep the best interests of your child at the forefront of your actions and decisions. The courts make custody determinations based on what is deemed most beneficial for the child’s overall well-being and development.

Navigating a custody dispute can be emotionally challenging, but with the right support and guidance, you can work towards achieving a favorable outcome for you and your child in accordance with the law.