I’ve been an attorney for about eight years now. I have primarily worked in family law and a little criminal law as a professional. Before I was an attorney, I was a journalist, and I covered different areas of education, government, and sports for a little bit, plus some redevelopment and transportation issues. It was my work in journalism that inspired me to become an attorney.
Family law in particular seemed to provide a lot of regular routine challenges that were interesting to me, whereas other areas of the law are different whether they be more transactional or non-litigious. I have continued to be able to work in family law, which I’m grateful for as I have a genuine interest in the subject. As a family law attorney, I’ve met so many different types of people and been exposed to many unusual situations. I realized at one point if the situation’s not unusual in some way, these people probably wouldn’t need an attorney in the first place. Working with these unique situations inspires and interests me every day.
When Couples Decide To Proceed With A Divorce In Maryland, What Are The Options Available To Them? Is There One Best Option?
The fundamental option is to file a complaint for divorce with the circuit court in that jurisdiction, county, or Baltimore City. The petitioner could file for a limited divorce that is like a formal separation or an absolute divorce, which ends the marriage. The complaint could be based on several grounds including mutual consent, adultery, one-year separation, cruelty of treatment, excessively vicious conduct, insanity, and desertion. That process essentially sets the tone for the court to follow, but there are other things that could happen along the way. Mediation is one option that could be grouped with an intention by the parties to have a mutual consent divorce. If the parties come to an agreement through mediation, they could convert that to an uncontested mutual consent divorce that they both agree to on the record, which is the easiest and fastest way to get a divorce.
Custody trials could also occur, usually before the final divorce hearing, as well as pendente lite trials, which give temporary solutions for custody and things like spousal support or child support. A pendente lite hearing (PL) is a temporary fix for parties who are in the middle of a divorce and need to be given temporary orders for custody and/or financial support.
In Maryland, you can file for a limited divorce before you file for an absolute divorce; that limited divorce would give you essentially an official separation that would last until you got an absolute divorce. Limited divorces only require separation or some excessively vicious conduct ground, which allows people to get started when they haven’t established other grounds for a full absolute divorce.
Those options all work together. It’s not like one is usually done exclusive of the other. They can fall and float into each other in different ways, but together, they make up the whole package of how to get divorced in Maryland.
What Factors Should Be Weighed When Deciding Any One Option Of Divorce With A Client?
A number of factors should be weighed when deciding how to proceed with divorce, such as whether there are children involved, whether the parties own property, how much money each party earns, whether any domestic violence has occurred, how long they’ve been separated, and whether there are any mental health issues present in the case. Of course, there are legal factors to consider during custody determinations, as well as marital property separation laws to factor in.
How Can I Prepare For An Impending Divorce In The State Of Maryland?
To prepare for an impending divorce in Maryland, the best thing to do is consult with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can provide essential advice from the start to put you in a position where you achieve the best result for yourself, and defend against the biggest downside to a pending case. You might also write down your reasons for wanting to get divorced, and determine whether there is any room to resolve the dispute with your spouse and stay married. Is there adultery going on in the relationship? Is there domestic violence? What type of custody arrangement do you prefer? Do you own any property, and if so, how do you want it split? The other thing you have to consider is whether or not you want to cease discussions with your spouse on any of these aforementioned issues before you have a court case underway in order to protect yourself from the possibility of giving them too much information that could jeopardize your case at a later stage.
For more information on Family Law in Maryland, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (240) 331-0083 today.