Family Law



Client Services

What is needed for a Maryland Uncontested Divorce with Sanabria & Associates:

    Both parties agree to be divorced and all issues regarding debt, children, and assets are settled. This means that a court will not settle them and after the hearing is over, no settlement can be done.
    There needs to be at least a 12-month separation between both parties, which means no physical contact for 12 months.
    Needs to have lived in the same county in Maryland for at least six months.

Divorce FAQ’s

  • Can I divorce my spouse even if we were married in a different country?

    Yes, as long as you lived in Maryland for six months you can still get divorced.

  • My spouse lives in another country, can I still get divorced in Maryland?

    Yes, as long as you lived in Maryland for six months you can still get divorced.

  • My spouse and I have two children over the age of 21 will that be a problem?

    No, after the age of 18, children are emancipated so it will not be a problem come time for a divorce.

  • After I get divorced? When can I get married again?

    We usually recommend waiting at least a month before getting married again. After your divorce has
    been settled, a waiting period of ten days is required before your divorce is finalized with the court.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)


Client Services

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (also known as SIJS) is an immigration relief/benefit for Minor Children under 21 in Maryland and Minor Children under 18 in DC & Virginia. In order to qualify, the Minor Children must have the following:

    Have one or both parents to have abused, abandoned or neglected the minor child.
    Have one of the parents ( if the other parent is away) or a family/friend( if both parents are away) to petition for the minor child
    Be under the age of 21 (in Maryland) or 18 (in DC and Virginia)
    Have been living in Maryland, DC, or Virginia for six consecutive months within their county (see FAQ’s)


  • How does Special Immigrant Juvenile Status work?

    Special Immigrant Juvenile Status starts in State Court of the state where you live in. A Complaint document is filed in court along with additional documentation that will lead to a hearing in state court. We as the attorneys go with the petitioner and the minor child to the state court hearing. The Petitioner and the Minor Child (if over 14 years old) will have to testify in court. We at Sanabria & Associates ensure that the Petitioner and Minor Child will be ready before their hearing. After there is a granting of the custody we file that Custody order with a Special Immigrant Juvenile packet that goes to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services center which will then send a receipt notice and an approval notice. Once an approval notice is received, the minor child will have special immigrant juvenile status

  • Why would a minor child apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

    Special Immigrant Juvenile Status candidates will be able to adjust their status to have a green card. That is, once they have their Special Immigrant Juvenile status approved; they will be on course to being able to apply for residency and five years after that, citizenship

  • Can a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status candidate receive a work permit?

    Yes, but after the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status has been approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once that is approved, the minor child is given what is called “deferred action” which allows the minor child to then apply for a work permit.

  • What is considered abuse, abandonment, and neglect?

    Abuse can include any type of physical or mental abuse by the parent(s) towards the child prior to turning 17. Abandonment is when the parent(s) voluntarily decided to stop living or supporting the child prior to the age of 17. Neglect is the parent(s) failure to properly care for the child. Having a child working under the age of 17 is considered neglect (please see FAQ 4 below for more information)

  • When is the latest that a Minor Child can apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

    In Maryland, the latest someone can apply is 20 years and 6 months. In DC and Virginia, it is also 18 years and 6 months. Keep in mind that the child has to have lived six continuous months in the county where they reside; if the child moves, the six months restarts. 

  • Can my uncle, cousin, or family friend petition for a Minor Child for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

    Yes, but only if both parents are not present in the child’s life. If one of the parents is present in the child’s life, that parents has to file the petition.

  • If a Minor Child has worked in the fields (en el campo) in their home country, could they still qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

    Yes, under state law, working under the age of 17 is considered to be negligence. For example, in Maryland In Re Dany G 223 Md. App. 707, 712 (2015) rules that working under dangerous conditions is seen as neglect by either parent if they allowed their child to work under those conditions. 

  • If the Petitioner for the Minor Child has no papers, can they still help the Minor Child? Would that affect their immigration status?

    Yes, they can still help! Petitioning for a minor will not affect their immigration status. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status deals with state court and the offices of U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services; these departments are not ICE nor the Immigration Courts so by being a petitioner this will not danger an immigration status or alert immigration as to the status of the petitioner.

  • What happens to their immigration case in Immigration court if they have Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

    Once Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is approved, we at Sanabria and Associates will be able to close the minor child’s immigration case which will take them out of the system and allow them to continue their process for residency.

Meet The Team