Legal Question in Family Law in Maryland

temporary custody issues

In the state of Maryland:

1. In a situation where grandparents have had temporary custody of their grandchild, and the parents are no longer together, do the parents pay child support to the grandparents? And if so, what if the grandparents have not requested them to? If child support must be paid, if there is visitation that requires airfare, is airfare taken into account of the amount of child support paid. 2. If both parents gave the temporary custody to the grandparents, do both parents have to take legal action such as signing papers, or going to court, to get custody back to one or both of the parents. Or can one parent get custody from the grandparents without the others permission? 3. Is it possible for one parent to give up his or her parental rights to the other parent after getting back custody from the grandparents. Neither parent is married. What if the grandparents insist upon one parent giving up their parental will not give custody to the other parent? Is it possible for one parent to give up parental rights to the grandparents whom have temporary custody, such as letting them adopt the child, is open adoption an option in cases like this? Would that parent need the other parents approval to do this?

Thank you!

Asked on 5/22/08, 4:54 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Re: temporary custody issues

You really have quite a few issues here and I recommend that you sit down with an attorney. I can give you some general information but much iof what you need is fact dependent.

1) Child support is for the benefit of the child. In ordering Child Support, the Court is suppose to view what is in the best interests o the child. Thus, parents, grandparents etc do not have the right to waive support that would be in the best interests of the child

2) Natural parents can give up their parental rights but each must do so individually; one parent cannot give up parental rights on behalf of both parents. It is not dependent on whether the parents were married or not. Parents may lose parental rights if they have been found to have been abusive or extremely negligent sick that the child is harmed or at risk of harm. The burden is on the party trying to prove that the parents are harmful.

3) It is not necessary to give up parental rights in giving custodial rights or temporary guardianship to a grandparent.

4) the rights of natural parents are superior to the rights of grandparents in custody of their children. Thus the natural parent, unless an Order is in place otherwise, can take custody from the grandparent without permission of the other parent who has given his or her permission for the grandparent to have custody.

5) If there is a conflict over who should have custody of the child, then someone who is concerned must file in Court. This if a parent wants to have custody over the other parent and grandparents etc, the parent needs to file. If the grandparent is seeking custody, the the grand parent must file and show evidence as to why the natural parent is a danger to the child.

I hope that I have answered some of your questions. However, I am sure that you will need to seek specific legal advice as there seems to be a particular fact pattern here that deserves attention.

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Answered on 5/22/08, 8:57 am

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