FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
Shelly S. Coleman
Family Services Coordinator
(410) 758-1773 or (800) 987-7591, Ext. 128
The following services and programs are available to the Circuit Court for Queen Anne's County:
- Family Law Assistance Clinic
- Custody/Visitation Mediation
- Parenting Seminars
- Home Study Evaluations
- Substance Abuse Assessments
- Mental Health Evaluations
- Other Family Services
Volunteer lawyers are available in the courthouse every Monday from 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.; every Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, the 1st and 2nd Thursdays of the month at the Kent Island Public Library from 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m., and the 3rd and 4th Thursdays of the month at the Centreville Public Library from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for consultation on how to represent yourself and complete forms for divorce, custody, visitation, and modification of child support.
When deemed appropriate the Court refers parties to the Queen Anne's County Department of Social Services Mediation Program. Parties attend the necessary sessions with the mediator. The fee for court-ordered mediation is $125.00 per hour. Costs are divided between the parties and paid to Queen Anne's County Department of Social Services Custody Evaluation Program. When parties reach an agreement, the mediator prepares a Parenting Agreement for signature and a copy is submitted to the Court.
The Healing Hearts Program is a six-hour educational class conducted by Parent Education Program, P.O. Box 703, Centreville, Maryland 21617, 410-703-8854 (leave a message and wait for a call back), which offers parents the opportunity to gain an understanding of the impact their separation and/or divorce has on their children. Parents will learn skills that can help their children adjust to the situation. The focus is on the importance of parents meeting the needs of their children emotionally and financially. The sessions are offered every month in Queen Anne's County. The cost is $40.00 per person and is generally conducted in two parts.
In depth investigations are conducted by the Queen Anne's County Department of Social Services to determine whether a home is an appropriate environment for children. Written reports submitted to the Court may, include recommendations for improving the current situation. Verbal testimony may also be required by the Court. These evaluations are utilized by the Court for custody and adoption cases. The cost for a home study in a custody case is $200 and an adoption case $300.
The Queen Anne's County Health Department, through its Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services Department at the Nielsen Center, provides substance abuse assessments, recommendations, referrals and urinalysis as needed. The assessments are scheduled within 10 days. The urinalysis reports are generally available within a week. Written reports are submitted to the court. Verbal testimony may also be required by the court. The fees are on a sliding scale based on ability to pay.
In cases when a mental health evaluation is necessary, a referral to a specific individual practitioner may be made. In other cases, the party may choose the evaluator. The Court may determine who pays the fees, although they are generally divided between the parties.
|Family Law Hotline - operates Monday through Friday from 9:30 - 4:30)||1-800-845-8550|
|Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Reduced Fee Program||1-800-300-1009|
|Pro Se Hotline (Women's Law Center) can assist with completing pro se forms. (Hours: Tuesday 9:00 - 12:30; Wednesday 9:00-12:30 and 4:00-7:00; Thursday 9:00 - 4:00; Friday 9:00-12:30)||1-800-818-9888|
|For information on Child Support Enforcement, including a child support worksheet, please see the Child Support Enforcement Program of the Department of Human Resourcesor contact the local Office of Child Support Enforcement at (410) 758-4347.|