Monthly Archives: May 2021

Can I Modify My Child Custody Agreement?

Child custody is a complicated legal matter that sometimes leaves one or both parents in situations they are not 100% satisfied with. Perhaps one parent thinks they were not given enough time with their children or the scheduling is unfair considering the circumstances. A parent may also find that over time, as life and circumstances change, their child custody agreement no longer works for their children. 

When it comes to child custody and the law, the focus is on what is in the best interest of the child(ren). The court wants to ensure the child(ren) has a stable upbringing amidst the potential turmoil of a divorce. Child custody arrangements are created with this intention and although custody is also subject to modification, it still requires substantial proof and reasoning to modify custody after it has been finalized and made a part of a Court Order. 

If a parent wants to modify their current custody arrangement – whether that be legal custody and/or physical custody – they must prove to the court there has been a material change of circumstance since the entry of their Court Order, and modifying custody would be in the best interest of the child(ren). For example, one parent may be relocating out of state; a parent may allege that the other parent’s home is no longer a suitable environment for the child(ren); a parent may be diagnosed with a mental illness or substance abuse that interferes with their ability to care for the children; a child’s academic demands or extracurricular activity commitments may significantly change.  

If a parent is simply unhappy with the current custody agreement and would like to change it, the court may not consider this a justification for modification. Parents are required to prove a material change in circumstances that has occurred since the date of the last Court Order. 

Parents can agree, absent a change of circumstance, to modify a custody schedule. Both parents can seek advice from legal counsel and assistance in making the changes. Family law attorneys will have the knowledge and experience necessary to discuss the matter with their clients and work to reach the best solution for their new child custody agreement. Mediation may be a helpful step in the process of modifying a custody schedule. 

If you are seeking to modify your current child custody agreement, the family law attorneys at Turnbull, Nicholson, & Sanders, P.A. encourage you to contact us to discuss your matter further. In the end, your child(ren) comes first and should be raised in a healthy environment. Several attorneys in the firm are also Certified Mediators and can facilitate an amicable resolution to your custody modification matter.


Child custody agreements are complex and require the knowledge and skills of an experienced family law attorney. If you have questions, please contact Turnbull, Nicholson & Sanders, P.A. at (410) 339-4100 or Our team of family law attorneys is here to help guide you.


Related Posts:
Divorcing During the Pandemic: When You Can’t Get Into Court
What Are the Grounds For Absolute Divorce in Maryland?
Maryland Divorce FAQs


Maryland Divorce FAQs

Going through a divorce can be a challenging time for you, your spouse, and your entire family. Aside from the emotional and mental toll, navigating the legal process can be extremely difficult, especially without the help of knowledgeable and experienced legal representation. The attorneys of Turnbull, Nicholson & Sanders, P.A. have a deep understanding of all Maryland-specific divorce laws and are here to help guide and support you throughout your divorce proceeding.

Below are answers to some of the most common Maryland Divorce questions our team receives. If you have further questions, please contact our office at (410) 339-4100.


Are there different types of divorce in Maryland?

Yes, there are two different types of divorce in Maryland, limited and absolute. A limited divorce allows for you and your partner to legally separate, but still maintain certain rights such as health insurance, ownership of shared property, and tax filing status. A limited divorce also requires that both parties live separately and prevents either from remarrying or engaging in another relationship. An absolute divorce legally ends the marriage, allowing both parties to remarry and results in any shared property being divided.


What are the possible grounds for a divorce?

In the state of Maryland, there are different grounds for a divorce, depending upon if you are pursuing a limited or an absolute divorce. While the two types of divorce share several grounds, some are unique to an absolute divorce.


Grounds for a limited divorce include:

  • Separation, if the parties are living separate and apart without cohabitation
  • Desertion
  • Excessively vicious conduct to the spouse or to a minor child
  • Cruelty of treatment to the spouse or to a minor child


Grounds for an absolute divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion, if it has continued for 12 months
  • Conviction of a crime
  • 12-month Separation
  • Insanity
  • Cruelty of treatment to the spouse or to a minor child
  • Excessively vicious conduct to the spouse or to a minor child
  • Mutual Consent


How are assets typically divided?

Maryland is an equitable distribution state. This means that the Court will fairly divide the marital property between both parties, but not always equally. The Court must first determine what property is marital versus what property is non-marital. When the Court is making a marital property award, several factors are established by statute and must be considered by the Court, which include, but are not limited to:

  • the financial contributions of each spouse to the family and household
  • the duration of the marriage
  • the current financial standing of each spouse
  • when assets, such as a home or vehicle, were purchased and how they were purchased
  • if alimony has been awarded to either party

Our attorneys are well-versed in complex divorce and settlement proceedings and will advise you throughout the process, so you are fully aware of each step and able to recoup what is rightfully yours.


What about child support or custody?

A divorce can be even more complicated and trying if you and your partner have children. We have the expertise needed to provide you with legal advice and representation in child custody and child support cases. Our primary concern throughout every divorce proceeding is to safeguard the quality of life for you and your loved ones by providing you with exemplary legal counsel.

The Court will take a variety of factors into account when determining what is in the best interest of the child/children. This can include the:

  • income/financial standing of each parent
  • current living situation of each party
  • mental or physical health of each parent
  • child’s preference
  • overall character and reputation of both parents
  • impact a potential move can have on the child’s education and well-being
  • presence of any legal record or past convictions

If both parties agree on the custody and care of any children they share, the Court will approve of this agreement so long as it is in the best interest of the children.


What are the different types of custody?

The state of Maryland has two classifications of custody, legal and physical, and can choose to offer primary (also referred to as sole) or shared (also referred to as joint) custody to one or both parties. Legal custody grants the parent the right to make important decisions about the child’s care and life. This can include education, medical care, extracurricular activities, and the overall well-being of the child. If granted physical custody, the parent is responsible for providing the child with a home and the daily care of them.

The Court may offer a combination of custody, such as joint legal and physical custody, based on what it believes to be in the best interest of the child. If one party is granted primary physical custody, a visitation or access schedule will be established.


We are here during this difficult time

The attorneys of Turnbull, Nicholson & Sanders have been widely recognized for their family law expertise. We understand that a divorce proceeding can be a difficult time for all parties involved and are committed to easing that burden by offering you exceptional legal representation.  


If you have questions about divorce, please contact Turnbull, Nicholson & Sanders, P.A. at (410) 339-4100 or Our team of family law attorneys is here to help guide you.


Related Posts:
Divorcing During the Pandemic: When You Can’t Get Into Court
What Are the Grounds For Absolute Divorce in Maryland?



6 TNS Family Law Attorneys Selected as 2021 Super Lawyers in Maryland


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Six attorneys of TNS Family Law have been selected as 2021 Super Lawyers in Maryland. 

Super Lawyers recognizes the top attorneys across the nation in over 70 practice areas. Attorneys who are selected by Super Lawyers are highly regarded by their peers and are known for their professional achievements. The Super Lawyers selection process is based on peer nominations and evaluations from other attorneys, as well as independent research.  

TNS Family Law attorneys Chris Nicholson, Mary Sanders, and Becky Fleming have been selected as 2021 Top 100 Maryland Super Lawyers. 

Mary Sanders and Becky Fleming have also been selected as 2021 Top 50 Women Maryland Super Lawyers. 

In addition, attorneys Alaina Storie, Nicole Rush, and Snehal Massey have been selected as 2021 Super Lawyers Rising Stars. This designation recognizes attorneys that are on the path to being selected as Top Super Lawyers 

“We are honored to have been selected by our peers for these Super Lawyers recognitions,” remarked Mary Sanders. “These designations are a testament to how hard our team works to help our clients achieve their goals. We could not be prouder!” 

To learn more about TNS Family Law, please visit their website here.

To learn more about their Super Lawyers recognition, please visit here.

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