Rockville Child Custody Attorney Works for You and Your Children
Protecting your children’s best interests
Child custody is the most emotional and contentious part of a divorce. At the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee in Rockville, we strive to work out custody arrangements that serve the best interests of the children while accommodating the parents’ wishes.
Maryland has two kinds of child custody
Rockville parents’ child custody agreements must provide for both the physical and legal custody of their children. The parent who has physical custody provides a home for the child and makes the day-to-day decisions on the child’s behalf. Legal custody, on the other hand, refers to the right to make the big decisions, such as those dealing with education, religion and medical care.
In Maryland, physical and legal custody can be divided and shared in different ways. The most common custody arrangements embraced by parents in Rockville include:
- Sole custody — In a sole custody arrangement, one parent is granted both physical and legal custody. The child lives with the custodial parent, and a visitation schedule is established to allow the noncustodial parent to spend time with the child.
- Split custody — In families with more than one child, the parents may decide to split up the custody of the children, with one parent assuming physical and legal custody of some of the children and the other parent assuming physical and legal custody of the other children. Sometimes older children have a say in deciding with whom they live.
- Joint custody — Joint child custody can be arranged in a number of ways. Parents may share legal custody, while one parent has physical custody. Or they might share legal physical custody equally or nearly equally. Or, with the help of a family law attorney, that might fashion a combination child custody arrangement that includes elements of joint legal and shared physical custody.
In the most common custody scenario, the parents share legal custody and one parent has physical custody. This requires the parents to agree on the significant decisions in advance and honor those decisions regardless of who has physical custody. If you and your ex-spouse are in conflict over some important issue, a Rockville child custody lawyer from the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee can help you find solutions.
How Maryland courts determine child custody
The state courts in Rockville and throughout Maryland generally accept any reasonable child custody arrangement that you and your spouse can agree on, so long as it serves your child’s interests. When you cannot agree, however, the court takes a more active role in deciding custody issues. The court will consider such factors as the ability of each of you to provide for your children, and in whose custody your child will experience less disruption of day-to-day life. Depending on the age of your child, the court may take his or her desires into account as well. The one rule that guides Maryland courts is that custody decisions must be based on the best interests of the child, not the parents.
Choose a lawyer who cares about your child’s interests
At the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, we help divorcing parents work out custody arrangements that satisfy them and benefit their children. Call (301) 279-0692 today or contact our firm online to learn more about our services. Conveniently located two blocks from the Rockville Courthouse, our law office serves clients in Montgomery County and throughout Maryland. We also have a satellite office in Bethesda.