In Maryland if you want to change the custody or visitation order that currently exists a Complaint for Modification is filed in the Circuit Court. The case will then follow the normal course of scheduling including a stop at your local mediator. If the parties can agree on a change the mediator can produce a Parenting Plan which will be filed in the Circuit Court and the case is closed. If an agreement cannot be reached the parties will ultimately face a trial judge. The first test a judge will impose is did the parson requesting the change provide enough evidence of a "material change of circumstance" that would warrant a change from the currently existing Order. Although judges follow statutes and previous case law in their determination of what constitutes a material change, there will be variations from judge to judge. If you cannot satisfy the court's interpretation of a material change, the court will deny the request for a change in the custody or visitation. The case will then be over. If you can satisfy the judge that a material change has occurred the next test for the judge is what is in the best interest of the minor child or children. The factors involved in a determination of material change and best interest of the child are complex. It is always best to engage the services of a competent Maryland lawyer who will provide you with the best information available. Call our offices today if you are dealing with a child custody matter or any type of family law issue. With over 30 years of experience, our firm has the knowledge to know what steps to take in such matters.