services and programs are now available to the Circuit Court for Cecil County:
A six-hour course entitled Parenting for Parents Living Apart is offered monthly. The course is taught by licensed social workers from Upper Bay Counseling and Support Services, Inc. The course provides co-parenting education on topics including the effects of divorce and separation on children, effective parenting after separation, and skill building for parents living apart. Seminars are held the last two Wednesdays of every month from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the Cecil County Circuit Courthouse, Jury basement office, 129 East Main Street, Elkton, MD 21921. Pre-register by calling 410-996-3115. Participants are allowed to bring guests with pre-registration. There is no fee for the classes.
Custody/Visitation Mediation assists parents
and/or caretakers to reach agreements, define issues or improve communication
regarding the care and parenting of children. Parties may meet with
a mediator in order to clarify issues of agreement and disagreement,
and to work toward development of a parenting plan. The fee for this
service is $100.00 per hour. Parties who meet certain financial requirements
may receive mediation services at no cost. Others are referred to
In order to provide families and the Court with information regarding
children, a brief or long term evaluation may be done by trained mental health providers. Families are given the opportunity
to utilize the information obtained in the evaluation to develop their
own parenting plan, or the information can be provided to the Court
in assisting with the determination of a disputed custody case.
cases where there is a urgent matter regarding the welfare of a child,
staff will meet with the reporting parent or party and make appropriate
referrals within the Court or to other agencies and services providers.
FACILITATED VISITATION AND TRANSFER
Family visitation centers are available
in Elkton (718 Bridge St.). These
services are provided at a cost. The Family Visitation Center is a
place for parents and children to visit that is safe, relaxed and
non-conflict oriented. Parents and children can spend time constructively
and enjoy their time together. The cost for this service is an intake
fee of $65 per party. The facilitated visitation is $30 per hour and
monitored exchanges are $7 per party. The Center is open Wednesday
evenings, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, for a limited period of
time. For information
and registration contact Robin Lucas-Pratt, Visitation Center Coordinator
at (410) 398-4060.
families that require frequent intervention, an evaluator will be
assigned to assist a family with problems which arise between hearings
and after hearings. Case monitoring and parent coordination are utilized
to decrease the amount of frequent litigations/hearings
PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS/SUBSTANCE ABUSE EVALUATIONS
Individuals requiring psychological
evaluations are referred to a licensed psychologist. Individuals requiring substance abuse screening
are referred to the Cecil County Health Department or private providers
within the community.
FAMILY LAW ASSISTANCE
An attorney is available to provide consultation for income eligible individuals. There is no fee for this service. This service is provided in the Circuit Courthouse on the following days/times:
Monday: 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 Noon*
Tuesday: 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.*
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Legal Aid Intake by phone at 1-800-444-9529
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 Noon
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Services Intake by phone at 1-800-510-0050; Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
* Attorney from Legal Aid Bureau