About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - Family Law
(a)   For the purposes of subsection (b)(10) of this section, “child” means an unmarried individual under the age of 21 years.
(b)   An equity court has jurisdiction over:
(1)   adoption of a child, except for a child who is under the jurisdiction of any juvenile court and who previously has been adjudicated to be a child in need of assistance;
(2)   alimony;
(3)   annulment of a marriage;
(4)   divorce;
(5)   custody or guardianship of a child except for a child who is under the jurisdiction of any juvenile court and who previously has been adjudicated to be a child in need of assistance;
(6)   visitation of a child;
(7)   legitimation of a child;
(8)   paternity;
(9)   support of a child; and
(10)   custody or guardianship of an immigrant child pursuant to a motion for Special Immigrant Juvenile factual findings requesting a determination that the child was abused, neglected, or abandoned before the age of 18 years for purposes of § 101(a)(27)(J) of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.
(c)   In exercising its jurisdiction over the custody, guardianship, visitation, or support of a child, an equity court may:
(1)   direct who shall have the custody or guardianship of a child, pendente lite or permanently;
(2)   determine who shall have visitation rights to a child;
(3)   decide who shall be charged with the support of the child, pendente lite or permanently;
(4)   from time to time, set aside or modify its decree or order concerning the child; or
(5)   issue an injunction to protect a party to the action from physical harm or harassment.
(d)   This section does not take away or impair the jurisdiction of a juvenile court or a criminal court with respect to the custody, guardianship, visitation, and support of a child.