Bethesda Maryland Divorce Lawyers
Strategic solutions for Montgomery County clients going through a divorce
Divorces are traumatic experiences for any couple. When there are children, valuable assets to be split, and one spouse has made substantial sacrifices for the other, divorces can become battles and wars. Experienced family lawyers can help you make a smooth and less contentious transition to your new life by helping you understand your rights, evaluating your financial and emotional requirements, and helping you prioritize you needs.
At McCabe Russell, PA, our Bethesda divorce attorneys have earned the respect of our clients and colleagues alike because we take the proper steps to analyze your family situation, and strategize so that you have the best chance of getting a well-negotiated settlement. When your spouse is being unreasonable or abusive, or contesting every decision you make, our family trial lawyers are ready to try your case in court. We calmly guide you through each phase of the divorce and protect all your rights.
What is required to dissolve a marriage in Montgomery County, Maryland?
An absolute divorce terminates the marriage, so couples can remarry. All related family issues must be resolved along with the divorce. This includes division of the marital property, child custody and support, and alimony. We ensure every aspect of your case is handled at the right time and in the right way.
Couples can obtain an absolute divorce if they meet one of the three following conditions:
- Mutual consent. Divorces with mutual consent are the fastest way to get a divorce and the least bitter. To qualify for a mutual consent divorce, the couple must:
- Consent to the divorce
- Not have minor children
- Have signed a property settlement agreement
While our lawyers advise and pursue uncontested divorces, we do strongly recommend that spouses not rush into signing a marital property agreement simply to get divorced quicker.
- Wait 12 months. Couples with minor children must live apart for one year before they can file for divorce even if they agree on equitable distribution, child custody, child support, and alimony.
- Meet the grounds for divorce. When a divorce is contested, you can seek divorce based on fault/legal grounds. The potential grounds for an absolute divorce in Maryland are:
- You cannot have sex with anyone but your spouse while married.
- Physical violence, emotional abuse, acts designed to humiliate you: any of these could be grounds for cruelty.
- If one spouse leaves the other without any intent to return, the deserted spouse can file for divorce.
- A conviction for a crime that includes a three-year, or more, sentence (of which at least one year has been served) is a ground for divorce.
- Sadly, some people are not mentally capable of caring for themselves. You can file for divorce if your spouse has been certified as insane by a qualified doctor and has been in a hospital or mental facility for three years or more.
Contested divorces do not have to be contentious. They can be resolved through fair negotiation with opposing counsel, mediation or divorce collaboration. If none of these options are successful, or if there are larger concerns in play, a trial may be the only way to move forward. If it is, we are prepared to fight for your best interests.
What is legal separation in Maryland?
A Maryland limited divorce is, basically, a legal separation. It is not the dissolution of the marriage. It is essentially a legal document that allows the spouses to live separate and apart from each other, provided they are not intimate while being separated. A limited divorce can also be granted if one spouse deserts or is cruel to the other spouse.
Limited divorces are useful for giving the couple breathing room to see if a full divorce is warranted, for getting counseling during a separation, and for living apart while still sharing some financial considerations such as health insurance policy.
Limited divorce decrees can and should address the issues of child custody and child support since the children are still the first priority. The limited decree should also determine the amount of spousal support and who is entitled to live in the marital home.
What are some of the family law issues that must be resolved in a divorce?
Our Bethesda divorce lawyers represent spouse in all phases of their divorce. Part of our praise from the legal community is based on our strong advocacy of all the following divorce matters, and our ability to show how one matter can affect the others.
- How is marital property divided in divorce? Maryland law follows the equitable division of marital property principle. Marital property includes every asset acquired during the marriage, with a few exceptions such as inheritances. We fight to identify each and every marital asset, to properly value the asset, and to then work to ensure you keep the assets you cherish or need most.
- What types of child custody arrangements are available? There are two types of custody – legal and physical. Legal custody determines who makes decisions about the child’s health, education, religion, and other long-term considerations. Physical custody agreements or orders set forth where the child lives every day and who has the responsibility for getting the child to school, supervising the child, and meeting his or her daily needs and desires.
- Child support. Parents are required to pay for the care for their child’s home, food, clothing, and other needs based on the parents’ income until the child becomes 18 – with a few exceptions.
- Will I have to pay alimony in my divorce? Our attorneys help you develop a fair spousal support agreement. We represent clients in need of alimony to support themselves, and clients who could pay, or are currently paying, spousal support.
Make an appointment with a trusted Bethesda divorce lawyer in Maryland
The sooner you speak with a Bethesda divorce lawyer, the better. The earlier you understand your legal rights and options, the better you can manage the emotional difficulties of a divorce. An early consultation with a lawyer can also be instrumental in preparing for a better negotiation and for being tougher at trial. At McCabe Russell, PA, we help spouses move on to a new life by working to secure the best agreements possible during the divorce. Please call 443-812-1435 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.
6701 Democracy One Plaza Loop,
Bethesda, Maryland, 20817
Phone: (301) 888-6945