Child Custody

Rockville Child Custody Lawyer

Working for You & Your Children in Montgomery, Howard, Carroll & Frederick Counties

Child custody is often 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 your children while accommodating your parental wishes. 

With well over three decades of family law experience, we have a firm grasp on how Maryland law affects the custody of children in divorce and paternity cases as well as in post-divorce situations where modifications, enforcement, or relocation must be addressed and resolved through the courts. Our family law attorney is known for being the calm, compassionate, and yet tough negotiator or litigator needed when seeking an optimum result.

Discuss your case in a confidential consultation with our child custody attorney. Contact us at (301) 417-5351 to get started today.

Maryland’s Child Custody Laws

Maryland child custody agreements must provide for both the physical and legal custody of children. The parent with physical custody provides a home for the child and makes the day-to-day decisions on the child’s behalf. On the other hand, legal custody refers to the right to make the big life decisions concerning the child, 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 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 and physical custody equally or nearly equally. A combination that includes elements of joint and shared legal and shared physical custody may also be arranged to suit individual needs. Our family law attorney can devise customized arrangements that will accommodate what is best for your family. 

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. 

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 best interests. At The Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, we can help you work out custody arrangements that satisfy you and benefit your children. Contact our firm online or at