The end of a marriage is always a difficult time. Not only must you come to terms with life on your own, but a divorce is also a legal matter that must run through the State’s Family Court. Either the Court or the litigants themselves must decide the legal rights and obligations of both parties. This can include the division of property, the payment of alimony, and the care and custody of children.
A seasoned Montgomery County divorce lawyer could help you if you need to undergo a divorce. A dedicated family law attorney could be beneficial in taking the initiative to file a complaint in court, answering a summons where a spouse has moved for divorce, and working to protect your rights and the rights of your children every step of the way.
The Legal Grounds for Divorce
The Family Court in Montgomery County requires all people who petition for a divorce to cite a specific reason for why the Court should grant the motion. Md. Code, Family Law, §7-103 says that a plaintiff to a divorce case can move for a divorce on the grounds of:
- Excessively vicious conduct
- 12-month separation
- Mutual consent
While these motions for divorce typically name the other spouse as being at fault for the separation, far more common are no-fault divorces. To ask for a no-fault divorce, a spouse must state that the two parties have lived apart for at least 12 consecutive months prior to filing the application for divorce, or the parties must have a signed marital separation agreement resolving all matters in dispute in their marriage. A steadfast MoCo divorce attorney could help potential litigants select a reason for a divorce or defend themselves against allegations of fault that may sway a court’s distribution of assets or alimony orders.
Common Matters at Issue in a Divorce
A divorce ends the marriage between two people and allows them to marry other people. It is final. A separation, even one where there is an agreement, does not end a marriage. Custody of the children, support, property division, and attorney’s fees are common matters that cause conflict when getting a divorce.
One major sticking issue in many MoCo divorces is the distribution of property. According to Md. Code, Family Law, §8-203, the court has the obligation to determine what property is marital property and which property is non-marital or separate property. Any marital property, which is property acquired during the marriage, is subject to equitable distribution upon divorce.
However, perhaps the most important matter in any divorce concerns the care of children. The Court has the obligation to make all rulings in the best interest of the child and Md. Code, Family Law, §9.5-201 states that Courts have the power to make rulings concerning all child custody questions. A skilled divorce lawyer in our area could help people protect their rights and privileges during every stage of a divorce proceeding. This includes fighting for their right to marital property, protecting their rights as parents, and working to create a better future for themselves and their children.
How a Montgomery County Divorce Attorney Can Help
A divorce is always a chaotic and emotional time. Every part of your past may endure heavy scrutiny and what a court decides is fair may not be in your best interest or what you desire. Of course, people can retain some level of control over any separation by entering into a divorce agreement with a former spouse. Still, this is not an option for everyone, and you may be forced into a long and contentious divorce case.
A knowledgeable Montgomery County divorce lawyer could stand by your side to fight for your rights. This includes filing a divorce complaint that outlines your demands, responding if your spouse has already filed in court, and working to push your interests in all court proceedings, mediation sessions, and other meetings. Contact qualified legal counsel today to discover more.