Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer
Call for Consultation 410-838-0004

Maryland Laws Against Removal Of Child From Custodian

FatherAbduction

When a lawful custodian has child custody rights in Maryland, they are authorized to exercise control over children under the age of 16. Correspondingly, Maryland family law prohibits any person from removing a child from their lawful custodian. But depending on the nature of the offense, the punishment can change drastically.

Unlawful Removal of a Child in Maryland

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 9-304 supplies the rules against removing a child in Maryland. This section applies to children under the age of 16 years old. If a relative demonstrates the intent to deprive the lawful custodian of the custody of the child, they are prohibited from:

  • Abducting, carrying away, or taking the child from the lawful custodian to somewhere else in Maryland;
  • Detaining the child somewhere in Maryland for more than 48 hours after the lawful custodian requests return of the child;
  • Hiding or harboring the child somewhere in Maryland, knowing that possession of the child is in violation of Section 9-304; or
  • Acting as an accessory to any violation of Section 9-304.
  • Any person who violates Section 9-304 will likely face misdemeanor charges. Upon conviction, the punishment can include a 30-day jail sentence and a maximum of $250 in fines.

Unlawful Removal of a Child to Another U.S. State

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 9-305(a) details the rules against removing a child to another U.S. state. This section applies to children under the age of 16 years old. If a relative demonstrates the intent to deprive the lawful custodian of the custody of the child, they are prohibited from:

  • Abducting, carrying away, or taking the child from the lawful custodian to another U.S. state;
  • Detaining the child in another U.S. state for more than 48 hours after the lawful custodian requests return of the child;
  • Hiding or harboring the child in another U.S. state, knowing that possession of the child is in violation of Section 9-305(a); or
  • Acting as an accessory to any violation of Section 9-305(a).

Any person who violates Section 9-305(a) will likely face felony charges. Though the punishment does change based on the duration of the unlawful removal. If unlawful removal in violation of Section 9-305(a) lasts for:

Less than 30 days — Then the punishment can include a one-year prison sentence and a maximum of $1,000 in fines; or

More than 30 days — Then the punishment can include a three-year prison sentence and a maximum of $2,500 in fines.

Unlawful Removal of a Child to Foreign Place

Section 9-305(b) explains the rules against removing a child to a foreign place outside the United States. This section applies to children under the age of 16 years old. If a relative demonstrates the intent to deprive the lawful custodian of the custody of the child, they are prohibited from:

  • Abducting, carrying away, or taking the child from the lawful custodian to a foreign place;
  • Detaining the child in a foreign place for more than 48 hours after the lawful custodian requests return of the child;
  • Hiding or harboring the child in a foreign place, knowing that possession of the child is in violation of Section 9-305(b); or
  • Acting as an accessory to any violation of Section 9-305(b).
  • Any person who violates Section 9-305(b) will likely face felony charges. Upon conviction, the punishment can include a five-year prison sentence and a maximum of $5,000 in fines.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you have legal questions about child custody we can help. Reach out to the Bel Air child custody lawyers Schlaich & Thompson Chartered for a consultation.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2017 - 2022 Schlaich & Thompson Chartered. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab