Rockville Divorce Lawyers
Upholding the rights of clients in Montgomery County
Starting a new life after a divorce is difficult. Many couples rush to get a divorce without focusing on their long-term needs. Sometimes they focus their anger on their spouse, instead of focusing on what is best for their children or their future. While it is hard to look beyond the immediate emotional stress of a divorce, it is important for both parties to plan appropriately for their family’s future.
At McCabe Russell, PA, our respected Rockville divorce lawyers guide you through the divorce process by reviewing each aspect of your family situation, studying your finances, learning about and meeting your children, and fully assessing your needs. We negotiate with opposing counsel when a spouse is being reasonable. When practical, we explore alternative ways to resolve your divorce, property division, and child custody matters. If your spouse is not cooperating, we do not hesitate to aggressively fight for you in court.
How does absolute divorce work in Maryland?
Maryland couples that want to formally end their marriage need an absolute divorce. As part of the absolute divorce case, they must also resolve other marital issues, including property division, custody, child support, and spousal support. Our attorneys pursue the following types of absolute divorces for our clients:
Divorce by mutual consent. Couples in Montgomery County without minor children can pursue an absolute divorce if:
- They both agree to be divorced.
- There are no minor children.
- They have entered into an agreement about how the property will be divided and whether there will be any alimony payments.
Spouses with minor children must live apart for one year before they can file for divorce even if they agree on all other aspects of the divorce including child custody, support, and how the marital assets will be divided.
Fault divorces. If one spouse can show they have grounds for divorce, then they can proceed with the divorce. Allowable grounds for divorce in Maryland are:
- If you or your partner has sex with someone else, then the other person can file for divorce.
- A person who harms their spouse or puts him/her in fear for his/her safety can be served divorce papers.
- If your spouse leaves you without any intent to return, you may have grounds for divorce. There are several conditions that our lawyers explain that must be met to formally prove desertion.
- If your spouse committed a crime punishable by three or more years in prison and he/she has served at least one year, then you can file for divorce.
- If you can show that your spouse is insane, you can file divorce. You must have medical evidence to confirm insanity and must show that your spouse has been hospitalized or in a mental institution for more than three years.
If you have grounds for divorce, those grounds can also be used to your favor in any equitable distribution, alimony, or child custody proceeding.
What is a limited divorce?
Some couples are not ready for, or are in no position to pursue, an absolute divorce. They may need time apart to decide whether to continue the marriage or to divorce. They may need to stay together for financial or religious reasons. Limited divorces are essentially legal separations. In order to qualify for a limited divorce, the couple must either live apart without intimate relations or one party must be found at fault for desertion or cruelty.
When couples with children are legally separated, decisions need to be made (by agreement or by a judicial order) as to where the children will live and how much support they need. You must also decide who will stay in the marital home.
Equitable distribution, custody, child support, and alimony
Our Rockville divorce lawyers advise clients who want an absolute divorce that all parts of their family disputes must be resolved – by agreement or by a court decision. You need to maximize your assets, provide for your children, and may be entitled to alimony. During the divorce process, you should resolve the following issues:
- How are marital assets divided in Maryland? Common assets include the marital home, bank accounts, personal property, cars, retirement accounts, and business interests. Each asset, whether it is in Maryland or another location, should be identified. You should know the value of each asset. Only when the marital property is identified and valued can you and your spouse negotiate or litigate what should be done with it.
- Will one spouse have to pay alimony? If you need short-term help to get an education, learn a trade, or obtain a license to earn a living, we request short-term rehabilitative alimony. If you cannot work due to a disability or for other reasons, we can make the case for indefinite alimony. And if you are currently paying alimony, but feel as though you should not be, we can examine the details of your case and your ex-spouse’s circumstances, and work towards modifying your order.
- How will child custody be decided? Parents need to resolve who will be responsible for the child’s health, education, moral upbringing, and other long-term decisions. Parents and children need to know where they will be living every day of the week and that the daily needs of the children will be provided. Legal custody (the long-term decisions) is often shared by both parents. Parents can either share physical custody (the daily living arrangements and care) or one parent can have sole physical custody.
- How is Maryland child support calculated? The amount of support a parent pays is based on the income of the parents, the number of children, who spends the most time with the children, and practical factors such as whether a child can be included on a parent’s health insurance policy. We work to verify how much your spouse is really earning, to ensure that your child is being supported properly.
Is divorce mediation an option in Maryland?
Mediation is a voluntary option that some Rockville families choose when they do not want to spend a lot of time and money battling through a litigated divorce, and when they want to work out an agreement between themselves that would create the best outcome for their children. A mediator is a neutral third-party who is there to guide the parties toward settling their divorce. A mediator may also be a family law attorney, but they do not represent the parties, nor do they advise the parties. Each party has their own divorce attorney to advise them and draw up the final divorce agreement once the parties have reached a settlement.
Issues such as alimony, child support and custody, and the division of assets can often be contentious. At our firm, we work to find a clear path towards a brighter future, and to ease the stresses on you and your children.
Speak with a respected Rockville divorce lawyer today
Understand your rights and your options. Fight for the best settlement or court order possible by working with attorneys with the skill and experience to help you. Proper preparation and advocacy can mean the difference between starting your life after divorce with confidence versus dealing with constant worry. For help now, please phone us at 443-812-1435 or complete our contact form to speak with one of the attorneys at McCabe Russell, PA.
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199 E Montgomery Ave
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: (443) 812-1435