At a minimum, a divorce separates two people’s formerly joined lives. This concerns matters of property ownership and support. However, many separations are far more complex and need to deal with questions concerning child custody, support, and visitation. These questions can be overwhelming, and the outcome will have an impact on your life for the foreseeable future.
A Rockville divorce lawyer could provide stability and certainty during these difficult times. A skilled family attorney can explain the state laws that govern your case, identify realistic goals, and fight to make those goals a reality.
When may a Person File for a Divorce in Rockville?
Just like any other legal case, you must have grounds for divorce in order to file, and there are legal requirements to comply with. If the grounds for divorce occurred in the State of Maryland, the parties do not have to reside in Maryland. However, if the grounds did not occur in Maryland, according to Md. Code Family Law, §7-101, one party must reside in the state for at least six months prior to filing the complaint.
A complaint for divorce must also cite the grounds for why the moving party is asking for the dissolution. State law separates divorces into at-fault and no-fault varieties.
Under Md. Code, Family Law, §7-103, reasons for an at-fault divorce include adultery., cruelty, desertion, insanity, or a spouse being convicted of a crime with a lengthy jail sentence. However, most divorces are no-fault.
For one year separation, the two people must live separately for at least 12 months prior to filing the complaint. For a mutual consent divorce, the parties must have a signed marital separation agreement or another document that addresses all matters pertaining to the parties’ marriage, including, marital property, children, and support. A dedicated attorney could help potential litigants to understand whether they can ask a Rockville court to grant a divorce.
The Process of Dissolving a Marriage
Divorces have a reputation for being lengthy and emotional legal battles. Indeed, many cases can quickly devolve into messy conflicts. A court must make a final determination concerning every future part of the two peoples’ lives. This can include the division of property, assets, and debt. Additionally, a court may make a ruling concerning the matters of alimony and child support.
However, the most pressing matter in many divorcing parents’ minds is child custody. A court will rule on matters concerning physical custody, the right to make decisions concerning that child’s future, and how much child support a parent must pay. Under Md. Code, Family Law, §5-203, the court can award custody to either parent, or create a joint custody agreement to give rights to both parents.
The process begins with the filing of a complaint for divorce in the local courthouse. A plaintiff must also serve the other spouse with this complaint, and other appropriate documents.
The court will then schedule a case for an initial hearing where the magistrate (family law judge) will identify major issues of contention in the case. The court will schedule additional pre-trial hearings to try and settle these matters and may require parties to participate in mediation sessions in an attempt to avoid a trial. Of course, if these sessions fail, the court will hold a full trial to determine the answers for any outstanding matters.
A marriage dissolution lawyer in Rockville could work with people to help them understand the divorce process and to protect their rights every step of the way.
A Rockville Divorce Attorney Could Help to Preserve Your Future
Any separation, even one where the two parties agree on most separation terms, is a monumental legal issue. The court must ensure that the entire future of both parties is secure and is authorized to rule on any outstanding matters. Common points of contention can include the distribution of marital property, the payment of alimony, the payment of child support, and the care and custody of children.
A Rockville divorce lawyer could help to push for your interest in all these matters. They can also explain the legal process, file all necessary paperwork, and attend all court hearings and mediation sessions to protect your rights.
They can also work to craft any settlement agreements that may make a divorce a less contentious experience. Contact us today to see how we might be able to help you.