SB365/HB405 - Family Law - Child Custody Evaluators - Qualifications and Training

This month, there are two hearings that will come before the Maryland General Assembly that will directly impact Child Justice clients. SB365/HB405 is a companion bill to the judicial training bill that was signed into law in May 2022.

SB365/405 specifies certain qualifications and training necessary for an individual to be appointed or approved by a court as a custody evaluator; and specifies that certain expert evidence is admissible in certain child custody and visitation proceedings under certain circumstances. Read the text of SB365 here. Read the text of HB405 here.

SB365 will be heard on Thursday, February 8 at 1pm. HB405 will be heard on Thursday, February 15 at 1pm.

Residents may submit written and oral testimony in support of, or in opposition to, the bill. We are in favor of SB365/HB405. We believe that any expert appointed or approved by a court that is making recommendations about child custody should have specific qualifications and training.

Thank you to Senators Carozza, Waldstreicher, and West, and Delegates Kaufman, Allen, Arikan, Cullison, Ebersole, Foley, Grammer, Hill, Ivey, A. Johnson, J. Lewis, J. Long, McComas, Pasteur, Phillips, Rosenberg, Schmidt, Simmons, Simpson, Solomon, Stein, Taveras, Taylor, Toles, Turner, and Woods for sponsoring these important bills.

How to Submit Written & Oral Testimony to the Maryland General Assembly in Advance of Hearing

To register to provide oral testimony or submit written testimony, individuals MUST first create an MGA account through the MGA website.

Click the "MyMGA" icon in the navigation bar. Then click "Create a MyMGA Tracking Account". Once your account is created, you will be able to select "Witness Signup".

Oral testimony sign-up and written testimony submission will open one (1) business day in advance of the scheduled bill hearing and will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

If you would like to submit testimony for SB365, you must do so on Wednesday, February 7 between 8am and 6pm.

To watch a video tutorial about how to submit testimony, visit the Video Tutorial page on the MGA website and scroll to the bottom.

For more information about accessing the MGA website and submitting testominy, please see the MGA Witness Committee Guidelines.

Register on MGA

How to Watch the Hearings and Live Testimony on YouTube

If you aren't able to go to Annapolis in person, you can listen in to the testimony. This is a great way to watch our legislative process in action and show your support for this important bill.

On Thursday, February 8 at 1PM, the live hearing for SB365 will be streamed on the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee YouTube channel.

Watch SB365 Hearing

On February 15, at 1PM, HB405 will be streamed on the House's Judiciary Committee YouTube channel.

Watch HB405 Hearing
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