Family Support Services
Kent County Circuit Court
DHR Child Support Administration
PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU COME TO COURT (PDF)
Marina R. Fevola
Family Law Coordinator
We welcome litigants on a first come, first serve basis and there is no cost to this service.
A Family Law attorney is available to meet and consult with you on issues of divorce, custody, visitation, child support, modifications, or name change.
Examples of legal assistance include:
- providing appropriate forms;
- answering or clarifying questions about forms or procedure,
- making referrals to legal service providers and any other legal, agency, or community resources.
People’s Law Library - http://dev.peoples-law.org/
Other Counties Family Law Clinics - http://mdcourts.gov/family/familylawassistance.html
Mid-Shore pro Bono Legal Representation - http://midshoreprobono.org
Family Law Forms - http://mdcourts.gov/family/formsindex.html#domesticrelations
Family Law Forms Spanish - http://mdcourts.gov/family/spanish/domrellist.html
Day-of-Court (DOC) Access Mediation Program
Trained mediators from Community Mediation Upper Shore are available in the courtroom on select Wednesdays so parties may begin mediation or at a minimum have their intake interview completed. Parties may elect to mediate and return to the courtroom before-the-end of the docket to report on the status of their progress. Day of Court Mediation occurs during the Family Magistrate’s scheduling docket.
Community Mediation Upper Shore – http://www.cmusmediation.org
Family Mediation Program
The Court may order parties with contested issues of custody/visitation and or property to attend mediation. The court selects a mediator from the Designated List of Child Access Mediators. Family Services maintains a List of Qualified Mediators for Child Access and Marital Property disputes that is available for review, upon request. Family Mediators may charge Two Hundred Dollars ($200) per hour and parties pay the mediator directly and in advance of each session. Each party pays one-half of the fees in advance and directly to the mediator or as directed by the court.
Attorney Appointment for Children
In actions with contested issues involving child custody, child access, or the amount of support of the minor child, one or both parties may file with the Court a motion to appoint child counsel. Child’s counsel may serve as a child advocate attorney, a best interest attorney and/or child’s privilege attorney. For additional information, please contact the Family Services Coordinator.
For All Seasons, Inc. provides court ordered supervised visitation and monitored exchanges for families in Kent Counties for minor children and their non-custodial parent. The Family Visitation Center is open once a week on alternating Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and two (2) slots and every other Sunday afternoon from 1 to 5 pm and four (4), two-hour slots are available for supervised visits. Intake interviews are scheduled and conducted during the hours of operation.
An intake interview for each party is required. To schedule an interview, contact the For All Seasons at 410-714-1411, and leave a message that includes your contact information and a few available Sunday and/or Wednesdays dates that you are available.
The visiting parent's fee is twenty-five dollars ($25) for the intake interview. The visiting parent pays thirty dollars ($30) for each two-hour visit.
Monitored exchange is another visitation service available and is available during the same day and time the Center is open. Each parent pays Ten Dollars ($10) to exchange and return the child for a visit or five dollars ($5) per exchange or per return. Payment is due at the time of each exchange.
Online Parenting Programs is a six-hour educational class conducted by Parent Education Program, which offers parents the opportunity to gain an understanding of the impact their separation and/or divorce has on their children.
The focus is on the importance of parents meeting the needs of their children emotionally and financially as well as to assist parties in developing their own parenting plan to promote the best interests of the minor child. Parents will learn skills that can help their children adjust to the situation.
Cost for service: $40.00 to be completed online
Online Parenting Brochure – link in email
Online Parenting Programs - https://kentcounty.onlineparentingprograms.com/
Parties and their attorneys appear before a Retired Second Circuit Judge for a settlement conference on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at ten o’clock (10 am) at the Kent County Courthouse, first floor, located at 103 N. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620. If the case settles, attorneys and clients may enter the agreement “on the record” or submit a written agreement and/or order to the court. A merits hearing is set for cases that do not settle.
By Court Order, the Kent County Department of Social Services (KCDSS) conducts home study investigations of one or both parties who live in Kent County, Maryland. The investigator prepares a written report of findings for filing with the Court. A fee of Two Hundred Dollars ($200) is charged and must be paid in advance and directly to KCDSS before the investigation will begin. KCDSS requires sixty days (60) to complete. When a criminal background check is required, KCDSS will coordinate that process and include it in its report to the court for an additional fee of eighty-five dollars ($85).
Court-ordered Substance Abuse Assessments are conducted by Kent County Behavioral Health (KCBH), Outpatient Addictions Services, located at A.F. Whittsett Center, 300 Scheeler Road, P.O. Box 229, Chestertown, MD. A substance abuse assessment may include but not limited to: random urinalysis, interviews, and other diagnostic tools, and where warranted a recommended treatment plan. You must allow two (2) hours to complete the assessment. Walk-in appointments are available every day Monday through Thursday between 1:00 pm and 1:15 p.m. sharp! You may schedule an appointment by calling (410) 778-2616 ext. 3269.Each party is responsible for the cost of their own substance abuse assessment. Many insurance plans are accepted. Your financial arrangements must be made in one of these ways: Proof of income Bring documents such as a pay stub statement, W-2 form, tax return, disability, or unemployment statement; or if you are unemployed, then you must bring a letter from the person who supports you stating the amount and the duration of support;
- If you have health insurance or medical assistance, you must bring your medical card;
- If you are not working and do not have insurance, then you must apply for Primary Adult Care (PAC) insurance to be seen and this requires you to bring the following documents to complete the application:
- A Birth Certificate;
- Photo Identification; and,
- A letter from whoever is supporting you while you are at of work. Please bring Eight Dollars Fifty Cents ($8.50) for payment on your urinalysis.
Recovery in Motion Brochure- send in email; http://kenthd.org/adult-health/addictions/recovery-in-motion/
Kent County Health Department - http://kenthd.org
Crossroads Community Inc- http://www.ccinconline.com
Sante Group - https://www.thesantegroup.org
Mental Health Evaluation
Where a party’s mental health is at issue, the Court may order a mental health evaluation by a psychologist which may include but not limited to the following: psychological testing, interviews, other diagnostic tools, review of prior mental health treatment records, and other health-related records. A final report is filed and sealed by the Court. The average cost for a mental health evaluation is Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000).
Adult Anger Management
In contested domestic cases, the Court may order a party to Adult Anger Management when a litigant has demonstrated episodes of rage, poor decision-making behaviors, or other behaviors that have caused negative consequences on the family or litigant. It is an eight (8) week open enrollment group counseling program that facilitates participants to learn effective decision-making skills and coping techniques to manage their anger. Referrals are screened for appropriateness of placement. Every Tuesday evening the group meets from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Ross Medical Office Building, Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD. You may register by telephone or e-mail: 443-362-0088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact provider - email@example.com
Anger Management Brochure -
The court may make referrals for family counseling to private and public mental health counselors. Counseling services are available and include modalities such as individual, group, and family counseling. These same providers accept a range of payment options: no fee, sliding fee scale or co-pay basis.
Other Resources/Partner Agencies
Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence - http://www.mscfv.org
Bureau of Child Support Enforcement – http://dhr.maryland.gov/child-support-services/
Department of Social Services, Kent County - http://dhr.maryland.gov/local-offices/kent-county/
Kent Family Center - http://www.kentcounty.com
Mid-Shore Pro Bono - http://midshoreprobono.org