When do grandparents or other relatives have custody or visitation rights?

Generally, the natural parents will have a presumptive right to custody. Only in cases where the parents are found to be unfit, or there are exceptional circumstances, will third parties be granted custody. At any time after a divorce, grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights. Grandparents have the right to petition the court for visitation rights in Maryland. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a parent's proposed visitation schedule, unless it denies visitation entirely, is presumptively better than a grandparent's proposed visitation schedule.

There is a complete list of the Domestic Relations Forms available in PDF format.  To view and print forms, you may be required to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.  

Also see Article from the Family Law Advisor on Maryland visitation and custody.
AARP Grandparent Information Center

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