Enduring a divorce will always throw your life into chaos. Not only must you come to terms with living your life on your own, but a divorce will create many legal questions that you must answer.
At a minimum, a divorce separates two people’s formerly joined lives. This concerns matters of property ownership and support. However, many divorces are far more complex and need to deal with questions concerning child custody, support, and visitation. These questions can be overwhelming, and the outcome of a divorce will have an impact on your life for the foreseeable future.
A Rockville divorce lawyer could provide stability and certainty during these difficult times. They can help to explain the state laws that govern your case, to identify realistic goals, and to fight to make those goals a reality.
When may a Person File for a Divorce?
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 than the parties do not have to reside in Maryland, however, if the grounds for divorce did not occur in Maryland, then
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 divorce. 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 other document that addresses all matters pertaining to the parties’ marriage, including, marital property, children and support. A Rockville divorce attorney could help potential litigants to understand whether they can ask a Rockville court to grant a divorce.
The Divorce Process
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.
A divorce 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 Lawyer Could Help to Preserve Your Future
Any divorce, 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, 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 help to explain the legal process, to file all necessary paperwork, and to 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 a Rockville divorce lawyer today to see how they might be able to help you.