Caring, and Effective Child Custody & Visitation Lawyers in Maryland
One of the most emotionally challenging aspects of any separation or divorce is the potential impact it may have on your children. While a child may benefit from a conflict-free environment, the transition can be difficult, often involving a division of time between both parents.
Whether child custody is determined through mediation or court proceedings, it is crucial to be fully aware of your rights, your children’s rights, and what is in their best interest. Equally important is having an experienced custody attorney to ensure your family’s final child custody plan is as fair as possible.
At the Law Offices of Sandra Guzman Salvado, our Maryland child custody lawyers are dedicated to guiding our clients through the challenging child custody process and support determinations. To learn more about your legal options and to discuss your case, don’t hesitate to contact our offices today at (301) 340-1911.
Our Firm’s Experience in Maryland Custody Cases
Established by family law attorney Sandra Guzman-Salvado, the Law Offices of Sandra Guzman-Salvado, LLC, is a diverse, bilingual (abogada habla español), and cost-effective law firm offering a wide range of legal services.
Sandra’s introduction to Maryland family law began during her internship at the Baltimore City office of the Legal Aid Bureau, where she worked in the Domestic and Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) units while pursuing her law degree at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Following her graduation, she practiced Family Law at the Metropolitan Office of the Legal Aid Bureau located in Riverdale, Maryland. Her professional path also included a role as the Managing Family Law Attorney at a well-established firm, where she served for over four years.
At the Law Offices of Sandra Guzman-Salvado, LLC, we provide legal services with a compassionate approach, unwavering focus, and transparent guidance during what can be one of the most challenging and stressful periods in your life. We recognize that deciding to file for divorce is not always an easy choice. Our legal team is here to help you understand the intricacies of the process and guide you through each step.
Types of Child Custody in Maryland
While many people believe that Maryland only recognizes sole custody or joint custody, the reality is that there are various child custody arrangements designed to suit the diverse needs of families appearing in court seeking resolution to child custody matters.
In Maryland, there are essentially two types of child custody:
Legal Custody – This entails the authority to make significant, long-term decisions concerning a child’s health, education, religious upbringing, and other critical matters.
Physical Custody – This pertains to the right to spend time with your child and make everyday decisions regarding their well-being.
Depending on your specific situation, you may be able to consider the following options:
Sole Custody – Where only one parent holds both legal and physical custody.
Split Custody – In families with multiple children, each parent may have sole custody of different children.
Joint Legal Custody – A child resides with one parent, but important decisions regarding their welfare are jointly made by both parents.
Shared Physical Custody – The child divides their time between the residences of both parents, although this split may not necessarily be 50/50.
While some parents can quickly reach a custody agreement, it is seldom as straightforward as it may seem. Your Maryland custody attorney can provide more in-depth information about these custody types and help determine which best suits your child and family’s circumstances.
Child Custody Determination in Maryland
Child custody in Maryland is primarily determined based on the child’s best interests, emphasizing gender-neutral treatment and the importance of maintaining relationships with both parents.
The primary caregiver and provider of the child’s basic needs.
The child’s preferred caregiver.
Each parent’s mental and physical fitness to care for the child.
The child’s preference, considering their age and maturity.
The child’s emotional support system.
Residence of the child and their desired living situation.
Separation duration from one parent.
Religious beliefs of the parents and child.
Involvement and location of extended family.
Social network and daily life of each parent.
Proximity to the child’s school and social circle.
Each parent’s ability to provide for the child.
Parental character and moral standing.
A parent’s disability only affects child custody if it directly impacts the child’s best interests. The court may also consider a child’s opinion if they are of sufficient age and maturity to express their preferences.
Child Custody & Non-Biological Parents
In most cases, biological, adoptive, or the parents who have raised the child receive custody during divorce or separation. In limited circumstances where natural parents are deemed unfit, the child’s best interests may lead to custody granted to close relatives, stepparents, or other significant figures. Outside these scenarios, grandparents and close relatives can seek visitation rights, even if custody is not granted to them.
Talk With Our Maryland Custody Attorneys Today
Whether you are establishing child custody arrangements for the first time or seeking modifications to an existing custody agreement through court or mediation, our team is here to assist you. If you have children and are seeking a divorce in Maryland, contact our Maryland child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Sandra Guzman Salvado at (301) 340-1911.
The Law Offices of Sandra Guzman Salvado delivers exceptional legal assistance to individuals across Montgomery, Frederick, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, and Howard counties. We also maintain law offices in Bethesda, Frederick, Greenbelt, and Rockville, Maryland, to better serve you.