Legal Information: Maryland

Custody

Updated: 
November 13, 2017

What is custody?

Custody is generally the physical care and supervision of a child (under 18 years of age) and the legal responsibility of the child’s long-term needs. When the court issues a custody order, it will address these two parts of custody:

Physical custody is the physical care and supervision of a child (under 18 years of age).  In other words, it addresses who the child will live with on a day-to-day basis and who will make decisions that come up during that time.*

Legal custody addresses which parent has the right to make long-range plans and decisions for the child's education, religious training, discipline, non-emergency medical care and other matters of major significance to the child’s welfare.**

* Md. Code, Fam. Law § 9.5-101; Taylor v. Taylor, 508 A.2d 964, 967 (Md. 1986)
** The People’s Law Library of Maryland; Taylor v. Taylor, 508 A.2d 964, 967 (Md. 1986)