Annapolis Family Law Attorney

Baltimore Crimianl Defense Lawyers

If you are dealing with a family matter that involves the law, it is no doubt a difficult time. Cases involving divorce, child custody, and other family issues are often emotionally charged, making them difficult to navigate.

Fortunately, our experienced family law attorneys can help you through several family law issues. This includes gathering and drafting documents, speaking to witnesses, and representing you in court.

Call our family law attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free assessment of your case.

Type of Cases that Our Annapolis Family Law Attorneys Handle

Having to use the court to deal with a personal family matter in Annapolis is never easy. For many, their family law case represents one of the most difficult times in their lives. Fortunately, our family law attorneys can help you with a wide range of issues, including divorce, legal separations, child custody, and many others.

Divorce Cases

A divorce case is a legal process that ends a marriage. Divorce cases can be either contested or uncontested. If there are no disputes between the parties about the issues in a divorce case, it is considered an uncontested divorce and will go forward on an accelerated schedule. If there are disputes between the parties about certain issues in a divorce case, it is considered a contested divorce, which means that it will be scheduled for trial at some point so that those disputes can be resolved by a judge or jury.

Limited Divorce Cases

When a married couple decides to no longer live together as husband and wife but needs time to make arrangements before getting divorced, can file for a “limited divorce.” Through a limited divorce, spouses can separate their assets from those acquired during their marriage, including those acquired through joint finances or jointly owned property such as bank accounts or real estate held in both spouses’ names.

A limited divorce does not terminate the marriage but provides an opportunity for spouses to negotiate a final agreement on the way towards getting an “absolute divorce.” The court will usually have temporary orders entered at the time of filing that address child custody, visitation, and support during the limited divorce period. Some couples also pursue a limited divorce as a final resolution if they do not want to end the marriage for whatever reason, but still do not want to live together.

Child Support and Custody Cases

Child custody cases are often the most difficult for the parties involved. In general, custody refers to the legal determination of how the child’s time and rights with each parent will be split. However, the court will consider two types of custody. “Primary physical custody” refers to where the child lives most often throughout the year and the parent that makes the day-to-day decisions. “Legal custody” refers to who makes decisions on behalf of the child (e.g., decisions about medical care and the education of the child).

The parent with primary custody is the parent who has physical custody for the majority of the year. Typically, this parent has more control over their children than the other parent does, but both parents usually retain some level of authority when it comes down to making important life choices for their kids together or separately. To determine custody, the court will generally consider what is in the child’s best interests.

If a parent is not granted primary physical custody, they will likely be ordered to pay child support. Child support is typically calculated based on income levels, how many children you support, and numerous other factors. Child support usually lasts until the child turns 18 or until they are 19 or graduate if still in high school when they turn 18.

Distribution of Marital Property

A serious issue that a divorcing couple will need to confront is how their property will be distributed. Maryland uses an equitable distribution of marital property rule, meaning the property will be “fairly” split. However, that does not mean an equal split, but what the court believes each party deserves based on the circumstances of the case. All property will be classified as marital or non-marital property.

Marital property refers to assets acquired during the marriage by either spouse, including money, real estate, stocks and bonds, retirement accounts, and cars. When a couple gets divorced, their marital property will be divided between them according to what is equitable. Non-marital property refers to assets acquired before marriage or after separation that was never used for marital purposes or jointly owned by both spouses during their marriage.

However, determining what is and is not marital property is often much more complex since there are some gray areas in the law. The act of sharing property during a marriage can be enough to make it marital property, so each case will need to be reviewed on its own facts. If your property is considered non-marital, it will typically remain in your possession.

Protective Order Cases

If you have been the victim of abuse at the hands of someone close to you, you can petition the court for a protective order against further abuse. Spouses, domestic partners, roommates, and coparents of abusers are just a few examples of those that can petition the court for a protective order. Maryland has a few types of protective orders that a court could grant depending on the situation. If abuse is suspected, an “interim protective order” might be granted until a determination can be made on a “temporary protective order” (TPO). A temporary protective order lasts for seven days, at which time the court should have a hearing to determine a “final protective order.” You can also pursue a protective order if your child is the subject of abuse.

How Our Annapolis Family Law Attorneys Can Help Your Case

Family law cases tend to be complex because of the amount of documentation that must be gathered and generated. Fortunately, our firm can help you gather evidence and supporting documents necessary for your case. This includes drawing up divorce agreements, preparing custody agreements, writing property settlement agreements, and much more. If witnesses need to testify in your case, our team can coordinate with them on your behalf to ensure that they are available for court.

Our Annapolis Family Law Attorneys Can Help

For a free case consultation with our family law attorneys, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.