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West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland RulesEffective: January 1, 2020

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 9. Family Law Actions
Chapter 200. Divorce, Annulment, Alimony, Child Support, and Child Custody (Refs & Annos)
Effective: January 1, 2020
MD Rules, Rule 9-204
(a) Applicability. This Rule applies in an action in which child support, custody, or visitation is involved and the court determines to send the parties to an educational seminar designed to minimize disruptive effects of separation and divorce on the lives of children.
Cross reference: Code, Family Law Article, § 7-103.2.
(b) Order to Attend Seminar.
(1) Subject to subsection (b)(2) of this Rule and as allowed or required by the county's case management plan required by Rule 16-302 (b), the court may order the parties to attend an educational seminar within the time set forth in the plan. The content of the seminar shall be as prescribed in section (c) of this Rule. If a party who has been ordered to attend a seminar fails to do so, the court may not use its contempt powers to compel attendance or to punish the party for failure to attend but may consider the failure as a factor in determining custody and visitation.
(2) A party who (A) is incarcerated, (B) lives outside the State in a jurisdiction where a comparable seminar or course is not available, or (C) establishes good cause for exemption may not be ordered to attend the seminar.
Committee note: Code, Family Law Article, § 7-103.2(c)(2)(v) prohibits exemption based on evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect.
(c) Content. The seminar shall consist of one or two sessions, totaling six hours. Topics shall include:
(1) the emotional impact of divorce on children and parents;
(2) developmental stages of children and the effects of divorce on children at different stages;
(3) changes in the parent-child relationship;
(4) discipline;
(5) transitions between households;
(6) skill-building in
(A) parental communication with children and with each other,
(B) explaining divorce to children,
(C) problem-solving and decision-making techniques,
(D) conflict resolution,
(E) coping strategies,
(F) helping children adjust to family changes,
(G) avoiding inappropriate interactions with the children, and
(H) use of the Maryland Parenting Plan Tool and development of a parenting plan; and
(7) resources available in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect.
(d) Scheduling. The provider of the seminar shall establish scheduling procedures so that parties in actions where domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect is alleged do not attend the seminar at the same time and so that any party who does not wish to attend a seminar at the same time as the opposing party does not have to do so.
(e) Costs. The fee for the seminar shall be set in accordance with Code, Courts Article, § 7-202. Payment may be compelled by order of court and assessed among the parties as the court may direct. For good cause, the court may waive payment of the fee.
Source: This Rule is new.


[Adopted March 5, 2001, eff. July 1, 2001. Amended June 6, 2016, eff. July 1, 2016; Nov. 19, 2019, eff. Jan. 1, 2020.]
MD Rules, Rule 9-204, MD R FAM LAW ACT Rule 9-204
Current with amendments received through February 1, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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