Maryland Courts

Family Support Services

Lynn MacPherson
Family Services Coordinator
(301) 600-2023

The following services and programs are available to the Circuit Court for Frederick County


Courthouse Family Law Clinic/Self Help Assistance

This clinic is available every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a first come first serve walk in basis. The attorney is available within the courthouse on the lower level, to assist self-represented litigants who meet the income eligibility. Legal advice is provided in family law matters for which domestic relation forms exist. For indifiduals whose income exceeds guidelines, the attorney will identify the issues and provide the appropriate forms.

Custody Evaluations

Often in contested custody cases an investigation involving the competing homes, the parents and the minor(s) is valuable to a Judge when determining the best interest of the child or children.

A court appointed evaluator conducts home studies. Once an evaluation is ordered, the evaluator contacts the parties and schedules appointments to meet with them individually. All parties are observed at least once interacting with the chilc or children involved. Extensive history data is collected on each party and back ground searches are conducted on all persons within each household. The parties are responsible for fees associated with the evaluation, however the parties may apply to the Family Law Fund for payment. Motion forms are available in the Clerk's Office. The fees are ultimately subject to reimbursement by the parties.

Attorney for Minor Children

In contested custody cases the Court may order an attorney to represent a child's best interest. The parties are responsible for payment of the attorney for the minor child or children, parties may apply to the Family Law Fund for payment. Motion forms are available in the Clerk's Office. The fees are ultimately subject to reimbursement by the parties.

Mediation Services

When appropriate, the Circuit Court for Frederick County will be encouraging parties in child access cases to resolve their disputes through mediation. "Mediation" as defined in Maryland Rule 17-102(d) means a process in which the parties appear before an impartial mediator, who through the application of standard mediation techniques generally accepted within the professional mediation community and without providing legal advice, assists the parties in reaching their own voluntary agreement for the resolution of all or part of their dispute.

Frederick County has a list of mediators approved to conduct mediation involving child access and financial disputes. These mediators are appointed by the Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator.

Supervised Visitation

There are programs available for supervised visitation and monitored exchanges in Frederick County. These may be ordered by the Court or parties may agree to voluntary entry to the programs.

Frederick County Mental Health Association
Supervised Visitation/Monitored Transfer Program
10 W. Church St. Trintiy Chapel
Frederick, MD 21701

The Supervised Visitation/Monitored Transfer Program takes place by appointment only. To arrange visits or transfers, each parent must complete separate Intake Interviews and provide copies of court orders, unless it is voluntary.

The intake interview is $30 per family or $15 per parent. Supervised Visitation fees are assessed on a sliding scale ranging from $10 to $20 per hour. The fee for Monitored Transfers is $5 per transfer.

Hours

Supervised Visitation and Monitored Transfers are available:

  • Thursday: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • The Visitation Center is not open on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.

For more information, please contact Evie Vander Meer, Family Services coordinator, Mental Health Association at 301-663-0011.

Central MD United Access Center
St. James Church
202 N. Main St.
Mt. Airy, MD 21771

This is a free program that allows parents to meet on Friday with monitors present and exchange the children for offsite visitation. The Children are to be returned in the same manner on Sunday evening.

Hours
  • Friday 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sundays 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on alternate weekends.
  • For a schedule of the weekends call 301-559-3120.

For more information please contact Joan Fader at 301-829-0325.

Substance Abuse Evaluations

In Child access cases, the Court may order persons to receive an evaluation and treatment which may be provided to the Court.

Other Resources

Name Phone
Clerk's Office - General Information 301-600-2172
Clerk's Office - Juvenile 301-600-1968
Clerk's Office - Chile Support 301-600-1927
Clerk's Office - Domestic Violence 301-600-2948
Family Law Hotline 800-845-8550
Legal Forms Hotline 800-818-9888
Department of Social Services 800-332-6347