Skip to content
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • Washington, D.C.

Divorce Lawyers

Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law



Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

News and comments about divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, equitable property distribution, father’s rights, mother’s rights, family law, laws on divorce and other legal information in Maryland.

Children Home Alone

By Lois R. Finkelstein

How old does a child have to be before he or she can be left alone in Maryland? The answer is 8 years old. Section 5-801 of the Family Law Article of the Maryland Code states:

(a) In general. — A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.

(b) Penalties for violation. — A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $ 500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.

I would still recommend that the child be mature enough to understand not to answer the door to strangers, have a safety plan, and have quick access to an adult that can be trusted such as a neighbor.


One Response to “Children Home Alone”

  1. Trishasmith Says:

    Every parent eventually faces the decision to leave their child home alone for the first time. Whether they are just running to the store for a few minutes or working during after-school hours, parents need to be sure their children have the skills and maturity to handle the situation safely. I have a 13 year old daughter and she usually stays at home after school hours while I was still at work and goes home late at night. 2 months ago, I was scanning through a few blogs and found this article on how I can better protect my daughter. It seemed interesting so I checked it out on Facebook and actually got 15 days free. Here’s the article:

© 2015 Thyden Gross and Callahan LLP. All rights reserved.