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Legal Information: Maryland


November 10, 2020

If a custody order is already in place, how can I get it changed?

A judge may change a custody order under certain circumstances.1  When one parent wants to change an existing custody order, it is his/her burden to show the court why it should be changed.2

The law in Maryland favors keeping the living situation of the child stable, so a judge might not change your custody order unless you can show that something in the current environment is harmful or that your home will be better.2  To do this, you must show:

  • A change in circumstance that may affect the welfare of a child has taken place in your home or the other parent’s home; and
  • A new custody and/or visitation arrangement is in the child’s “best interest.”3

1 See Md. Code, Fam. Law § 1-201(b)(4)
2Levitt v. Levitt, 556 A.2d 1162 (Md. 1989), The People’s Law Library of Maryland
3Wagner v. Wagner, 674 A.2d 1 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1996)