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Legal Information: Maryland


November 27, 2023

Can a parent who committed child abuse or neglect get custody or visitation?

If a judge in a custody or visitation case believes that a parent has abused or neglected his/her child, then the judge has to decide if s/he believes that this is likely to happen again if the parent is given custody or visitation.  The judge must specifically determine that there is no likelihood of further child abuse or neglect in order to give custody or unsupervised visitation to the abusive parent.  However, even if the judge doesn’t grant custody or unsupervised visitation, the judge may grant supervised visitation if the safety and emotional well-being of the child can be protected during the visits.1  If you have evidence of abuse to you and/or your child, you (or your lawyer) may show this to the judge at the custody hearing.1

See also Can a parent who committed domestic violence get custody or visitation? for more information about how violence against any child in the household will be treated by the judge.

1 Md. Code, Fam. Law, § 9-101