Family Law Legislative Update 2015 - 02-06

Here's the latest.  There are a lot of family law bills, but still nothing about the proposed codification of child custody decision making.

I've attached a couple of bills y'all might find interesting:

  • SB 402 is entitled "Family Law – De Facto Parent."  The title speaks for itself.  It drastically changes the way Maryland courts will look at third party custody.  Read it.
  • HB 350 is entitled "Custody & Visitation – Deployed Parents."

There are several DV bills, some of which I have already brought to our attention:

  • HB 224/SB 315 is "Domestic Violence – 2-Year Protective Order," which provides that a judge can grant a 2-year protective order with the respondent's consent.
  • HB 225/SB 269 is "Domestic Violence – Additional Relief," which provides judges the discretion to fashion relief not otherwise enumerated in the DV code.
  • HB 227 is "Family Law – Domestic Violence – Definition of Abuse," which expands the definition of abuse under the DV code to include harassment, trespass, and malicious destruction of property "... if the person eligible for relief has not resided with the respondent for at least 7 days before the filing of the petition."
  • HB 263 is "Domestic Violence – Permanent Protective Orders – Conspiracy or Solicitation to Commit Murder," also pretty self-explanatory.
  • HB 390/SB 270 is "Protective Order and Peace Order Petitions – Maryland Residents."  This expands jurisdiction so that a court can grant a petition for protection if the abuse happened in Maryland or if the petitioner is a resident of the state of Maryland.
  • SB 277 is “Family Law - Protective Orders - Additional Relief,” which authorizes a judge to order a respondent to remain a specified distance away from a residence, place of employment, school, or temporary residence.  (It doesn’t say what that distance is, but I imagine the law doesn’t contemplate a judge telling a respondent he can’t come within 50 miles of the petitioner.)

Another interesting bill recently introduced:

  • HB 348 is "Civil Right to Counsel – Implementation."  It requires the governor to provide in the budget bill an appropriation to provide legal representation to income-eligible parties in protective order proceedings and an appropriation for a pilot Judicare program to provide legal representation to income-eligible parties in contested custody and visitation proceedings.

I have already drawn our attention to (and we are still watching):

  • HB 163 is "Child Support – Adjusted Actual Income – Multifamily Adjustment."
  • HB 165 is "Family Law – Grounds for Limited Divorce."
  • SB 78 is "Rape Survivor Family Protection Act."

More to come ...

2015 02-06 FL Legislative Update.docx40.06 KB
Family Law - De Facto Parent.pdf77.75 KB
Custody & Visitation - Deployed Parents.pdf80.26 KB


We welcome your comments and suggestions