Relocation Notice For Child Visitation In Maryland
Child visitation enables parents and other parties to spend time with a child, even in the absence of legal custody rights. In some cases, Maryland law requires the custodial parent to provide notice before relocating the permanent residence of any child subject to visitation rights.
Notification Prior to Child Relocation
When a person has child visitation rights, Maryland Code of Family Law Section 9-106 enables the requirement of notification prior to relocation. Under this section, the Maryland courts may require a relocation notice as part of a child visitation order.
When required, a party must provide at least 90 days written notice before relocating the permanent residence of the child, inside or outside of Maryland. The notice can be sent to the courts, the other party, or both. Though the exact form and content of the notice are subject to the discretion of the Maryland courts.
After sending the 90-day notice, the party in question may file a petition with the Maryland courts to request permission to relocate. If filed within 20 days after the written notice, the courts will expedite a hearing to consider the petition to relocate.
If circumstances require a party to relocate in less than 90 days, they must demonstrate to the Maryland courts that:
- Relocation was necessary based on financial or other extenuating reasons; and
- Notice was provided within a reasonable time after learning of the necessary relocation.
On the other hand, the Maryland courts may waive the notice requirement in certain situations. If either party demonstrates that such notice would expose the child or a party to abuse, the court shall waive any notice requirement under Section 9-106.
Ultimately, it is paramount to follow the directions of any child visitation order, including any requirement to provide notice of relocation. If a party disregards the notice requirement and relocates the child anyway, the other party may be able to claim unjustifiable interference with or denial of child visitation rights.
Interference with or Denial of Child Visitation
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 9-105 establishes the laws governing unjustifiable interference with or denial of child visitation rights. If the Maryland courts determine that unjustifiable interference/denial occurred, they can take any or all of the actions below:
- Require a rescheduling of any missed child visitation sessions;
- Revise the child visitation order, including additional terms to dissuade any non-compliance in the future; and
- Compel the party that unjustifiably interfered/denied child visitation to pay the court costs and attorney’s fees of the other party.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about child visitation in Maryland, it can be tremendously constructive to speak with a well-regarded Bel Air child visitation attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including child visitation. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.