St. Mary’s County Circuit Courthouse
P.O. Box 859
Leonardtown, Maryland 20650
Family Support Services Coordinator
Phone: (301) 475-7844, extension *4110
What is the Family Services Program?
In 1998, the Maryland Judiciary was given the responsibility of overseeing the creation of the Family Divisions/Family Services Program with an initiative by the State Legislature. Comprehensive programs were developed by Maryland Circuit Courts to help benefit families accessing the court system to help resolve custody and access issues. These services provide efficient case management of family law cases for families and children who are entering the judicial system. The overall mission is “to improve the experiences and outcomes for the children and families who interact with Maryland’s Court System”. St. Mary’s County Circuit Court encourages and believes parents should be the primary decision makers. Fostering parents as the primary decision makers is the basis for the creation of the services provided through the court process.
What are the Programs offered through the Family Services Office?
- Child Custody and Child Access Mediation
- 6 hour Co-Parenting Education Program
- 6 week Intensive Co-Parenting Education Program
- Co-Parenting Conflict Resolution Counseling Program (CCRC)
- Supervised Visitation Programs
- Family Law Self Help Legal Clinic at the St. Mary’s County Courthouse
- Family Recovery Court (FRC) Program
- Other Family Services Referrals
The St. Mary’s County Circuit Court will order parties in contested child access/child custody cases to resolve their disputes through mediation when a case is appropriate for mediation. Pursuant to Maryland Rule 17-201(c) mediation is the process in which parties appear before an impartial mediator and assists the parties in reaching their own voluntary agreement to resolve all or part of their contested issues. The mediator may help the parties develop a parenting plan that is in the best interests of their child (ren). The St. Mary’s County Circuit Court utilizes the mediators with Community Mediation of St. Mary’s.
Court approved mediators through Community Mediation of St. Mary’s uses a co-mediation approach. This program is paid by a grant through the Family Services Jurisdictional Grant Program. Community Mediation of St. Mary’s does not charge a fee
Community Mediation of St. Mary’s is located at 41620 Courthouse Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650, (301) 475-9118, Susan Rork, Executive Director.
Pursuant to Maryland Rule 9-204(b) when there are contested issues of custody and/or visitation, the Court will order parties to a 6 hour educational seminar designed to minimize disruptive effects of separation and divorce on the lives of children. The purpose of the co-parenting seminars is to give parents skills to lessen the effects of the divorce and/or separation on their children. Parties participate in the program by referral or court order. The seminar provides the parents tools to be able co-parent effectively as well as makes decisions on behalf of their children The St. Mary’s County Circuit Court refers parties to the following provider:
Promise Resource Center is located at 29958 Killpeck Creek Court, Charlotte Hall, Maryland 20622. Contact person is Kelly Hutter, Executive Director at (301) 290-0400. Cost is $120.00 per person and parties have to pre-register and pre-pay at least 48 hours prior to the next class. Payment is not accepted on the day of the class. The 6 hour seminar is offered the third (3rd) Saturday every other month from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Lunch is provided.
6 Hour Online Co-Parenting Program/Divorce Class
Another resource to complete the required 6 hour Educational Seminar is through Online Parenting Programs:
Programs are available in English and Spanish. Low income discounts are available.
Contact by phone at (866)504-2883 or at email@example.com
Or go on the website www.stmarys.onlineparentingprograms.com
This Program is designed to help reduce court time and litigation expenses for families who have not been able to overcome conflict with other interventions. The goal of this program is that each participant has successfully addressed areas of conflict, develops a plan to utilize in future conflicts, has an understanding of the negative impact of parental conflict on children and is confident in utilizing the skills they have gained in future scenarios. The class is structured with six 2-hour sessions and approximately 8 to 14 participants are in a group. Class utilizes role-playing, skills training, peer coaching, mentoring and supervised practice. Fees are paid through Family Services Jurisdictional Grant Program. Parties are ordered to the program. Parties participate in the program by court order.
The Co-Parenting Conflict Resolution Counseling Program (CCRC) is an informal meeting between both parents and the provider. This program gives parents the opportunity to discuss any issues that brought them before the court, and other concerns or topics of their choice that relates to co-parenting. Preparation for the meeting only requires that you arrive on time and have an open mind to the process. Parties will be asked to sign consent to participate on the day of their scheduled meeting and both parents are required to be present. The program is available on Tuesdays and scheduled appointments are at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Parties participate either by referral or court order. Contact Claire Langeluttig, Family Support Services Coordinator at (301) 475-7844, extension 74110 to schedule sessions. The provider is Kimberly Phillips with the Promise Resource Center. There is no cost associated with this program.
The Court will order parties to supervised visitation when there are safety concerns of the non-custodial parent.
The following two (2) agencies provide supervise visitation for the St. Mary’s County Circuit Court:
Center for Children
- Leonardtown Office (301) 475-8860
- La Plata Office (301) 609-9887
- Prince Frederick Office (410) 535-3047
Intake fee is $50.00 per party and cost of each visitation session is $50.00 for up to two (2) children per visit per hour. Visitation occurs at one of their office locations in the Tri-County Area.
Promise Resource Center
The Promise Resource Center is located at 29958 Killpeck Creek Court, Charlotte Hall, Maryland 20622. Contact person is Kelly Hutter, Executive Director and she can be reached at (301) 290-0400.
Promise Resource Center will have to conduct an intake of both parties and the cost is $57.50 per hour. Visitation can occur in the office, community, i.e. park, restaurant, shopping, etc.
The St. Mary’s County Circuit Court offers a free Family Law Self Help Legal Clinic to provide legal assistance/advice regarding family law matters such as custody, visitation, divorce, child support, name change, guardianship, and domestic violence.
The Clinic is held every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and the first and last Friday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
St. Mary’s County Circuit Court
41605 Court House Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650
Clinic is held in lower level of the Court House, in the grand jury room which is the first door on the left when coming off the stairs. The sign-up sheet is posted at 9:30 a.m. and the attorney starts seeing people at 10:00 a.m.
- Please note that the attorney does not represent you in or out of Court but will answer questions about any family law matter. This is a free service, and the appointment is one on one with you and the attorney. You may attend the clinic as many times as you need to. Contact person is Claire Langeluttig, Family Support Services Coordinator at (301) 475-7844, extension 74110.
The St. Mary’s County Family Recovery Court (FRC) is designed to offer extra support and assistance to parents with substance abuse and or mental health problems that inhibit their ability to provide safe and appropriate care for their children. The program offers services that establish sobriety, stability, and education that will build strong and healthy families. The Family Recovery Court uses a holistic approach to support parents and families, with consistent monitoring, intensive treatment, ancillary services, and collaborative efforts.
Most eligible families are under the jurisdiction of the court through a Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) court proceeding. However, there are also parents who are losing custody and visitation rights in family law litigation who are eligible to participate.
The Family Recovery Court is dependent upon the creation of a non-adversarial courtroom atmosphere where a single judicial officer and a dedicated team of court officers and staff work together toward the common goal of breaking the cycle of dysfunction and disintegrating families.
Parents must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible for the FRC:
- Have an active CINA proceeding, with a permanency plan that includes reunification.
- Have a child under an Order of Protective Supervision by DSS.
- Have a custody or visitation case.
Contact Person is Bambii Willman, Family Recovery Court Case Manager/Coordinator.
(301) 475-7844 ext. 74123, (240) 925-3696.
Parties could be ordered to family therapy and/or co-parenting therapy. In addition, parties could be ordered to submit to a psychological evaluation, and/or a substance abuse evaluation and follow all recommendations.
Legal and Community Resources
Legal Aid Bureau, Maryland Legal Aid – private, non-profit law firm providing free legal services to low income people statewide. 15364 Prince Frederick Road, Hughesville, Maryland, 20637 (301) 932-6661. https://www.mdlab.org
Southern Maryland Center for Family Advocacy – is a private, non-profit agency whose function is to provide advocacy, legal assistance and information/referral to victims of domestic violence in the Southern Maryland region at 23918 Mervell Dean Road, Hollywood, Maryland 20636 and work number is (301) 373-4141. http://smcfa.net
The People’s Law Library of Maryland (PPL) is legal information and self-help website maintained by the Maryland State Law Library, a court related agency of the Maryland Judiciary. The purpose of the PPL is to provide self -help litigant’s information about the law including summaries of the law, links to legal resources and referrals for legal services. https://www.peoples-law.org
Maryland Volunteers Lawyers Services (MVLS)
Maryland Court Help Center CHAT with a Lawyer about your civil case Free Legal Help with your Civil Matter
(410) 260-1392 Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 8:00 pm
Civil Justice’s Limited Scope Representation Project
Contact Civil Justice at (410) 706-0174
Or you can fill out an online intake form at http://www.civiljusticenetwork.org/ForConsumers/Intakeform.aspx.
Intake Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Walden Sierra Crisis Hotline (301) 863-6661 – 24 hours/7 days a week
Department of Social Services (St. Mary’s County)
Child Support Customer Service (St. Mary’s County)
Clerk of the Court (St. Mary’s County)
(301) 475-7844 (select option for Clerks Office)