Maryland Family Law Section 12-103

Article - Family Law

§ 12-103.

      (a)      The court may award to either party the costs and counsel fees that are just and proper under all the circumstances in any case in which a person:

            (1)      applies for a decree or modification of a decree concerning the custody, support, or visitation of a child of the parties; or

            (2)      files any form of proceeding:

                  (i)      to recover arrearages of child support;

                  (ii)      to enforce a decree of child support; or

                  (iii)      to enforce a decree of custody or visitation.

      (b)      Before a court may award costs and counsel fees under this section, the court shall consider:

            (1)      the financial status of each party;

            (2)      the needs of each party; and

            (3)      whether there was substantial justification for bringing, maintaining, or defending the proceeding.

      (c)      Upon a finding by the court that there was an absence of substantial justification of a party for prosecuting or defending the proceeding, and absent a finding by the court of good cause to the contrary, the court shall award to the other party costs and counsel fees.