Budget Year / Version:

Program Description

  Family Division Services

This program provides a variety of services for children and families, most of them funded by the Family Law Grant. Services include case managers that provide day-to-day management of cases supported by Family Magistrates, Judges, counsel, and litigants; custody mediation involving litigants in an effort to obtain a settlement of custody issues prior to litigation; the Family Law Self Help Center staffed by attorneys to help individuals representing themselves in uncomplicated family law cases involving divorce, custody, and child support; psychological evaluations when psychological testing is necessary as an adjunct to arriving at a decision in the best interest of the children; best interest attorney appointments to specifically represent the interests of children; and operating expenses associated with managing the division.

Family Division Services also handles adoption investigations, as well as child custody and visitation evaluations. After the establishment of a Court Order, independent evaluations for child custody and visitation and adoption investigations are conducted by Court staff possessing substantial experience in social science or suitable credentials in the field of social work. The evaluator meets with the litigants and children and interviews professionals and collateral references to ascertain the appropriate custodial situation for the children.

The Court has an initiative that is allowing litigants to meet with a courthouse appointed meditator at no cost to the community. This is a response to the pandemic to allow litigants to have a licensed meditator to help them reach an agreement before going to trial.

The Juvenile Division is also a part of Family Division Services and is responsible for oversight of delinquency petitions, Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) petitions, Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) petitions, Voluntary Placement petitions, and Petitions for Peace Orders. These matters, which are governed by strict statutory timeframes, require a high degree of judicial oversight by the Court on a long term basis.

Program Contacts

Contact Timothy Sheridan of the Circuit Court at 240.777.9103 or Vivian Ikoro of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2780 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.


Program Budget Changes

FY25 Recommended ChangesExpendituresFTEs
FY24 Approved184963915.27
Shift: Personnel Costs for the Family Grant (Grant Fund) to the General Fund1853090.37
Add: Mid-Year Creation of Mediator Position1653371.00
Shift: Personnel Costs for the Family Grant (Grant Fund) to the General Fund-185309-0.37
Multi-program adjustments, including negotiated compensation changes, employee benefit changes, changes due to staff turnover, reorganizations, and other budget changes affecting multiple programs.-93213-1.27
FY25 Recommended192176315.00