It is a sad fact that over half of all marriages in Frederick and around the country now end in divorce. These divorces can occur for many acute reasons such as abuse or abandonment, or simply because the two people no longer get along.
Regardless of the reasons for the separation, a divorce is a complex legal matter. A family court must always approve any divorce decree, even if the two parties agree over the terms. In some cases, the court may hold a full trial to determine critical legal issues such as child custody, property rights, and the payment of spousal support.
A Frederick divorce lawyer could help to protect your rights and to guide you through the often-complicated divorce process. A seasoned family lawyer could help every step of the way from filing an initial complaint, to answering a summons, to outlining your goals, to fighting for those goals in court.
Different Kinds of Divorce
The laws in Frederick and around the state recognize two major categories of divorce. Regardless of the category, litigants must be sure that a state family court has jurisdiction to hear the case. According to Md. Code Family Law, §7-101, one of the parties to the divorce must have lived in the state for at least six months.
The most common form of divorce is the no-fault divorce. Here, the two parties do not bring specific complaints against the other, but simply wish to end the marriage. To qualify for these divorces, the two people must live apart from one another for at least 12 months prior to filing the petition.
The other form of divorce involves specific complaints of abuse or neglect. Under Md. Code, Family Law, §7-103, these reasons include depression, insanity, or a spouse enduring a conviction for a crime that results in a jail sentence of at least 12 months. Ultimately, whether a person files for a no-fault or an at-fault divorce has little to do with the outcome of a case. However, evidence of cruelty or abuse can be of great use in arguing for spousal support or applying for custody of children. A divorce lawyer in Frederick could help people to evaluate their case.
Common Issues Raised in Divorces
A divorce is always a complex legal matter. This is because the proceeding must make important and permanent decisions concerning both peoples’ legal futures. A marriage is not just a spiritual bond between two people; it is also a legal connection. Severing that connection is a serious issue.
There is a collection of common legal issues in divorces that should be at the forefront of peoples’ minds. The most visible are issues concerning child custody. The State has the authority to grant sole, joint or shared custody to either parent of a child. In joint or shared custody, both parents have a physical set schedule and make decisions concerning that child’s future. Sole legal custody arrangements place this responsibility entirely in the hands of one parent.
Other common legal issues in divorces include:
- Property rights
- The assignment of debt
- Spousal support
- Child support
A Frederick divorce lawyer could help people to identify their goals concerning these vital issues. A marital divorce attorney then formulates plans intended to make these goals a reality.
Speak with a Frederick Divorce Attorney Today
A divorce is always a difficult and chaotic time. This will necessitate a complete separation of your life from your soon-to-be ex-spouse. These issues can include important matters such as property rights, who will pay marital debts, what is to be done with child custody, and the payment of spousal support.
A Frederick divorce lawyer could help with every part of the divorce process. From filing an initial complaint for divorce, to determining if there are grounds for an at-fault complaint, to representing your interests during mediation sessions, to pressing for your rights at trial, an attorney may be able to help.
If you have received a complaint for divorce, the time may be running short to file an answer. Contact a Frederick family divorce lawyer today to schedule an appointment.