Divorce

Divorce Attorneys with Offices in Columbia, Towson, and Gaithersburg, Maryland

shutterstock_167614421Deciding to get a divorce is difficult …

Sometimes, separating from your spouse is the only way to resolve critical issues and create a brighter future.

If you and your spouse decide to end your marriage, it is important that you obtain experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.

At the Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC, we have significant experience working with Maryland couples who wish to end their relationship, either temporarily or permanently.

We can provide you with the expertise and resources to move you through the dissolution of marriage in the fastest, most cost-effective way possible.

The state of Maryland offers two types of divorce, and requires certain grounds for divorce in order for the dissolution of marriage to be granted.

Here’s what you need to know about divorce in Maryland:

Facts

You or your spouse must have resided in Maryland for the year prior to filing for divorce.

Alternatively, you can file for divorce in Maryland if the grounds for the divorce occurred within the state’s boundaries.

Law

There are two types of divorce that may be ordered by a Maryland court: absolute and limited divorce.

Absolute Divorce: an absolute divorce ends the marital relationship completely.

In order to be granted an absolute divorce, you must file for the dissolution of marriage based on certain grounds. These grounds include:

  • Adultery (opportunity and disposition required)
  • Desertion for twelve consecutive months
  • Separation with no expectation of reconciliation for twelve consecutive months
  • Excessively vicious conduct or cruelty of treatment while the parties are still residing together
  • Conviction of a felony or a misdemeanor with a sentence of at least three or more years with incarceration for at least one year at the time the petition for divorce is filed
  • Incurable insanity, resulting in the spouse’s institutionalization for at least three years

Effective October 1, 2015, a change in Maryland law permits parties seeking an absolute divorce to file for divorce immediately without the time requirements if the following  criteria are met:

  1. The parties mutually consent to an absolute divorce.
  2. The parties entered into a marital separation agreement resolving all outstanding marital
    property issues including alimony, or have no marital property.
  3. The parties have no minor children in common.
  4. The parties both appear at the final hearing for absolute divorce.
  5. Neither party has moved to set aside the marital separation agreement at the time of the absolute divorce hearing.

The 12 month separation period is still required for absolute divorce cases where the parties don’t mutually agree and or have minor children in common.

If you meet the criteria for an absolute divorce, first notify the court of your intention to divorce your spouse.

The court will notify your spouse, and your spouse will have the opportunity to respond to the divorce petition.

Limited Divorce: a limited divorce may be ordered when parties do not have the grounds for an absolute divorce.

This allows spouses to live separately from one another; however, they remain married until they meet the criteria to file for an absolute divorce.

For example, if none of the criteria for an absolute divorce are met (such as adultery, incarceration, violence, or insanity), but you and your spouse still want to separate, you may be eligible for a limited divorce under Maryland law.

A limited divorce order can decide custody, child support, and possession of the home and personal property; however, the court can’t divide marital or jointly owned property.

Facts About Limited Divorce

  • You must still be able to meet Maryland’s residency requirements in order to be eligible for a limited divorce
  • Limited divorces are generally not permanent
  • You can get a limited divorce while you seek an absolute divorce
  • A limited divorce can be revoked if both parties apply to be discharged from the divorce. This would allow the couple to return to the state of being legally married
  • Spouses who are under a limited divorce may not have sexual relations with each other, nor may they remarry
  • Sexual relations with anyone else during a limited divorce may be considered adultery

To determine whether a limited divorce is right for you, speak with a divorce lawyer as quickly as possible.

At the Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC, we fully understand the differences between absolute and limited divorce and can help you find the course of action that best fits your needs.

Pendente Lite Relief

In many cases, relief is needed while the divorce is still pending.

Matters like child support, alimony, visitation, litigation costs, and use and possession of the family home are issues that won’t wait until a divorce is finalized.

Pendente lite relief allows a party to seek a temporary order from the court while divorce litigation is pending.

At the Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC, we can help you obtain temporary orders regarding critical matters in your divorce as soon as possible.

Assistance

Divorce cases are often the most complex legal cases.

They combine the certainty of the law with the uncertainty of a party’s emotional response associated with the dissolution of a once vital, meaningful relationship.

The divorce attorneys at the Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC are experienced, empathetic, and zealous advocates for our clients.

We attempt to resolve your divorce case by implementing alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation, negotiation and a collaborative approach. These techniques are usually more advantageous from a financial and emotional perspective for our clients.

Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is the process of negotiating your divorce with a neutral third party in order to reach a compromise that works for both parties. There are numerous benefits to mediation, including:

  • The ability to have greater control over the outcome and resolution of the divorce
  • The ability to resolve conflict through alternative dispute resolution with less hostility
  • The ability to acknowledge your emotions and the emotions of those involved

Mediation also is:

  • More informal than litigation
  • More flexible than litigation
  • Less expensive than litigation
  • Less time consuming than litigation

At the Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC, we understand that mediation is often the best way to resolve divorce issues.

We are skilled in the process of alternative dispute resolution and can provide you with seasoned legal support throughout the entire process.

Divorce Litigation

In some cases, a resolution cannot be reached through the process of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

When parties are unable to agree or compromise on certain matters, our attorneys will advocate for your position in court.

We can help you litigate a variety of issues, including:

  • Grounds for absolute divorce
  • Property division
  • Debt division
  • Alimony/spousal support
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Court order modification

We can provide you with the zealous legal advocacy you need during the litigation process, and we will passionately fight for your rights and best interests under Maryland law.

Although few people look forward to litigation as a way to resolve their divorce issues, with a seasoned divorce lawyer at your side, you can face the process with confidence.

Goal

The goal of any divorce attorney is help their clients resolve disputes in a non-adversarial way, avoiding protracted litigation.

Such resolution requires compromise and realistic expectations. The attorneys at the Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC will provide education and active communication to ensure that you are an active participant in the legal process.

Your position will be fiercely advocated in the courtroom and by means of settlement. You and your family’s well-being are at the forefront of our representation.

Call today at (410) 884-0400 to discuss your legal rights.