Gaithersburg Family Law Attorney

Baltimore Crimianl Defense Lawyers

There are many situations in a person’s life where their family issues might require legal help. When filing for divorce, many other issues arise, like child custody and support, how property is distributed, and numerous others.

Our skilled family law attorneys can help you if you are facing divorce or any other family situation in which you need legal counsel. We can fight for you in child custody cases, as well as obtain protective orders.

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

Filing a Fault-Based Divorce in Gaithersburg

One type of divorce that a person can file for in Gaithersburg is what is known as a “fault-based” divorce. A fault-based divorce is filed when one spouse’s actions during the marriage are deemed unacceptable under the law. To successfully have the divorce granted, these actions must be proven by evidence and witnesses.

The most common reasons people cite when filing for fault-based divorce include adultery, physical abuse, and emotional cruelty. However, a person can file for divorce if their partner has deserted the marriage or has consistently abused alcohol or drugs. Further, divorce can be filed if a spouse has been convicted of a felony resulting in three years imprisonment or if they have served 12 months of a prison sentence. Insanity is also a recognized ground for divorce if your spouse has been committed to an institution for at least three years and at least two physicians testify that your spouse’s condition is incurable.

Filing a No-Fault Divorce in Gaithersburg

Alternatively, spouses can file a “no-fault” divorce when the specific grounds for the divorce are based on separation or mutual consent. In these cases, the married individuals have either been separated for 12 months or have mutually agreed to file an uncontested divorce. No-fault divorces are usually simpler than fault-based divorces since spouses do not have to file evidence with their case.

Distributing Property After a Divorce in Gaithersburg

Although you and your spouse might have agreed on issues such as child support, visitation rights, or spousal support, you will still need to determine how the property is going to be divided. But how do you know who gets what and how much? If you are filing for divorce, it is important to understand how the law views marital and nonmarital property in Gaithersburg.

Distributing Marital Property

Marital property is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. This typically includes shared houses, vehicles, and other property purchased during the marriage. Exceptions exist however, which makes separating property challenging. For instance, property gifted to only one of you during your marriage or property purchased in exchange for non-marital property will usually remain yours after divorce.

However, Maryland does not have a formula for who should get what property but looks at what would be equitable or fair under the circumstances. To determine a fair distribution of assets, the court will consider several factors, including each spouse’s finances, what each spouse contributed financially to the family, and the spouse’s ages. The court will also examine how long you were married and how the assets were acquired. If marital misconduct is part of the reason for the divorce, that could affect how certain property is awarded. Essentially, the court can consider any factor that it finds relevant to distributing the marital property in your case.

Distributing Non-Marital Property

Non-marital property is separate property that was acquired before or after the marriage. Also, property that is gifted to or inherited by one particular spouse is considered non-marital property, even if the spouse acquired it during the marriage.

The good news is that spouses typically keep their non-marital property after a divorce. That does not mean that non-marital property could not be taken by the court. If one spouse is ordered to pay an alimony or monetary award, their non-marital property might be used to satisfy it.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can also help define what assets are considered non-marital property in your divorce case.

Distributing Marital Debt

Martial debts are distributed much the same way that property is distributed in a Gaithersburg divorce. Debts that a spouse had before getting married will remain theirs. Further, spouses cannot be liable for the other spouse’s debts that they acquired before their marriage. As long as your name is not on the contract, the debt is solely theirs.

However, debt that is obtained during the marriage will usually be distributed fairly among the spouses. Marital debt can include mortgage payments and other expenses paid from a joint bank account.

Other Common Family Law Cases that Our Attorneys Handle in Gaithersburg

While divorce is one of the most common types of family law cases our firm handles, we can also offer support with many other family law issues. The following are other types of family law cases that commonly occur in Gaithersburg:

Child Custody Cases

Child custody cases decide who will have legal and physical control over a child. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, while legal custody refers to who makes decisions on behalf of the child, such as medical decisions and where they go to school. The parent with primary physical custody has more control over their children than the other parent. Still, both parents usually retain some level of authority when it comes to making important life choices for their kids.

Custody can be decided between the parents themselves by agreement, or the court can determine if a parent should get sole or joint custody. However, considering the stakes involved, child custody cases can be emotional and lengthy.

Obtaining Protective Orders

Protective orders are issued to protect an individual from abuse, whether it is physical or emotional. If you have been the victim of abuse at the hands of a person close to you in your life, you can petition the court to grant you a temporary protective order. Abusers can include spouses, co-parents, domestic partners, significant others, roommates, or other family members. Once you are out of immediate danger, the court will hold a hearing to determine if a final protective order should be put in place. You can also pursue a protective order if your child is the victim of the abuse.

Our Gaithersburg Family Law Attorneys Can Help

Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review with our family law attorneys.