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Leaving a child at home can impact ongoing custody proceedings

When you are going through a divorce with children or other custody battle, it can seem like every single thing you do and say is under a microscope. And this is largely correct. When the family courts are involved, even things you put on social media that are not directly related to your case, children or ex can come back against you in the courts.

One of the most important things you can do for your custody case is make sure to follow all laws regarding the welfare and safety of children, and if you aren’t sure about whether something would look bad in court, it’s best to err on the side of caution. One common example is leaving a child home alone.

In decades past it was much more common for children to be left alone for short periods of time even at relatively young ages. However, changing societal values and perspectives has made this a hot button issue lately. There are many varying opinions and much information out there on this topic, making it important to understand the Maryland laws. According to state law, a child must be eight years old or older before being left unsupervised in a car or at home.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea — practically or in the eyes of the courts — to leave an 8-year-old home alone because much depends on the individual child and their maturity level. If you have questions about whether a certain action or behavior may impact your custody case, it’s best to clear it with your attorney first.

Source: Baltimore County Government, “Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed May 24, 2016

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