Ellicott City, MD Family Law Attorney

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Matters of family law can be challenging to navigate. With help from our attorneys, parents and spouses can come to the resolution they need for their families.

Several kinds of cases can be filed in family court in Ellicott City, such as those involving matters of divorce, separation, child support, custody, paternity, and alimony. The length of these cases varies and largely depends on the other person’s involvement and whether or not they contest the issue at hand. For example, when one spouse is against divorce, the process might take longer. Similarly, if a non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support, it might be harder to get payments. Responding to a complaint made in family court is important, as failure to do so might undermine your case or argument against the other party’s case.

Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras by calling (410) 694-7291, and get your case reviewed for free by our Ellicott City, MD family law attorneys.

Petitions Filed in Family Court in Ellicott City, MD

Depending on your specific case, you might be required to submit various filings to the court in Ellicott City. For example, if someone is filing for divorce or seeking child support, they will have to file a complaint or petition with the court.

Many family law matters require individuals to gather considerable information, which must then be submitted to the court using the proper forms and documents. These matters often begin with a petition or complaint. For example, suppose you are seeking a divorce. In that case, our family law attorneys can help you file a divorce complaint, the specifics of which will be based on your situation. Maryland allows both no-fault and fault-based divorce filings.

If you wish to increase the child support paid by your child’s non-custodial parent, you will also have to petition the court to make modifications to the existing child support agreement. To succeed in these instances, custodial parents must provide evidence of the changes in either party’s financial situation.

Other family law matters, such as issues of alimony or paternity, also require petitions or filings with the court. When petitioning the court in these situations, it is important that you submit accurate information that properly explains the specifics of your case and supports your reasoning for going to court. Otherwise, you might be unsuccessful in your efforts in Ellicott City.

Average Length of Family Law Cases in Ellicott City, MD

Common reasons to go to family court include matters of divorce, separation, paternity, and custody. Generally speaking, most of these matters take some time in Ellicott City.

Divorce or Separation

Even in amicable divorce proceedings where both spouses agree to divorce, separation of assets can be a lengthy process. This is also true in formal separation proceedings. Even if couples have prenuptial agreements in place, there might still be some room for negotiations regarding certain assets. Because divorce proceedings are emotional and do not always involve parties that both want a divorce, they might be unnecessarily extended. Our attorneys will aim to come to an agreement with your spouse’s counsel regarding divorce and allocation of assets so that you can reach a resolution sooner. Generally, on average, divorce takes several months to upwards of a year, depending on the case and the parties involved.

Custody Arrangements

Going to court from the get-go about custody arrangements is often necessary so that your child is not faced with constant changes. Generally, custody is discussed and agreed upon during divorce or separation proceedings. That said, a child’s parents are not always married. Furthermore, even after agreeing to a custody arrangement initially, one parent might decide they want more or less responsibility and request modifications to the current custody arrangement. If you want full custody and your child’s non-custodial parent regularly does not attend court dates, you will likely be granted full custody in Ellicott City. In cases where both parents wish to be the custodial parent and not share custody equally, the process might lengthen considerably.

Child Support and Alimony

Alimony is typically determined during divorce proceedings. However, circumstances might change, and an ex-spouse might determine that they require increased alimony payments or might decide they should no longer have to pay alimony. The same could be said of child support payments. In some instances, parents no longer want to pay child support and cite insufficient income as the reason. If you require alimony or child support from an ex-spouse or partner, you might have to take them to court over the matter. Generally, courts side with the custodial parents in these circumstances. Even if a non-custodial parent is struggling financially, they are often responsible for contributing to their child’s life via child support payments. If a non-custodial parent continues evading the court, proceedings over child support might take more time than anticipated in Ellicott City.

Deadlines in Family Court in Ellicott City, MD

Just as with all other legal matters, there are deadlines in family court that individuals must be aware of. If parties fail to meet certain deadlines or attend certain court dates, they might lose some of their parental rights or not see their goals met regarding divorce.

If you file a custody complaint with the court, the person who you have filed the complaint against will have 30 days to respond if they live in Maryland. If the other party lives outside of Maryland, they will have 60 days to respond. Similarly, if a complaint is filed against you for custody, you will have 30 days to respond. The deadlines are the same for divorce complaints filed in Ellicott City. There are other deadlines to be aware of throughout the legal process. Our attorneys can handle these matters entirely.

Call Our Family Law Lawyers in Ellicott City, MD

Call (410) 694-7291 to get a confidential and free case review from the family law attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras.