Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Moving to a New State After Obtaining a Child Custody Order in Maryland

Once Maryland has exercised jurisdiction in a child custody case and a custody order has been entered, the Maryland order is given full faith and credit by every other state.  Meaning, every other state will recognize that child custody order.  This is because of the Uniform-Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).

The UCCJEA, adopted by all states and the District of Columbia, was enacted to prevent a party from obtaining a custody order in one state, and then moving to another state only to re-litigate the same issues in order to get a different result.

The home state of the child will be wherever the child has lived for at least six (6) months during the past six (6) months.  Under the UCCJEA, once a particular court has made the initial custody determination, that court retains the right to modify custody, access, and child support in the future. However, if both parents and the child move out of the home state, this could mean that the home state loses jurisdiction, and the custody order would need to be enrolled in the new state.


After entry of a custody order, when one parent decides to relocate out of Maryland and the other parent stays in Maryland, this can cause a significant impact on the wellbeing of the child(ren) involved.  There are legal and practical considerations to such a move that must be considered.  The move will likely be objected to by the non-moving parent, especially where the relocating parent wishes to move a great distance, out of state, or to another county, and wishes that the child(ren) relocate with them.

Notice of Intent to Change Permanent Residence

Notice is required in Maryland. A typical custody order will include language that addresses notice concerning relocation.  Under Maryland statute, a court can order each party to provide the other at least ninety (90) days’ notice of an intent to move, and that if there is a filed objection within twenty (20) days, then a hearing will be set.  If a relocating parent moves without providing the necessary notice, they could be found in contempt for having violated the terms of the custody order.  It is critical that all aspects of notice are complied with before making the move.

Child’s Best Interest

The court takes relocation requests seriously, as the stakes are high.  There is no guarantee that just because a request to relocate is made with the court, that it will be granted.  The relocating parent will have to demonstrate compelling reasons for the request.  The standard that the court will be looking at when such a request has been noted, is the best interest of the child standard; i.e. the same standard used when making the initial custody determination.  Some of the factors that the court will consider when reviewing relocation requests are the age of the child; the explicit wishes of the child; the emotional stability and mental health of the child; the character of each parent and history of their interactions and communication; the distance between the parents; impact on future visitation between the parents; and reason for the request.

Call a KGO Family Law Attorney Immediately

If you have an existing custody, visitation or support case or wish to file custody, visitation, support, or other family law case, the experienced family law attorneys at Krum, Gergely & Oates, can assist. Contact the family law attorneys at Krum, Gergely, & Oates today, for a consultation.