Family Law Attorney in Germantown, MD

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Family law can be a rather sensitive topic. This area of law covers things like adoption, child support, divorce, property distribution, and more. Understandably, the parties involved in family law proceedings will likely feel very strongly about their positions, and things can get – for lack of a better word – very messy very quickly.

Since family law proceedings can become very hectic and impassioned, it is very important that you retain legal counsel, which we would be more than happy to provide. We know how to navigate the family law landscape in a way that works for your interests and gets the best outcome we can for you and your family.

To have a free, confidential review of your situation with one of our family law attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

What Does Family Law Cover in Germantown, MD?

Family law covers a wide range of things that our family law lawyers can help you with. One of the reasons it is important to get legal counsel when dealing with any of these legal issues is that family law proceedings can get very emotional, which can cloud everyone’s judgment. An outside party, like our family law lawyers, can handle the situation professionally and without making hasty decisions in the heat of the moment.


The largest area of family law by far is divorce. Divorce is a legal process that ends a marriage. Until recently, one could file for what was called a “limited divorce” in Maryland. However, the law recently changed, so that is no longer an option. Now, spouses can only file for an “absolute” divorce, which is a total ending of the marriage.

In order to have “grounds,” or a reason, to file for divorce in Maryland, one of the spouses must live in the state. You also need grounds for divorce. Essentially, the court is asking the spouses why they want a divorce and the grounds are the reason why. There are three primary grounds for divorce in Maryland: six-month separation, irreconcilable differences, and mutual consent.

Under Md. Code, Family Law Art., § 7-103(a)(1), parties to divorce proceedings need to have lived separately for at least six months in order to successfully file their claim. Separation can also be established if spouses are said to be living “separate lives.” This means that plaintiffs who live in the same dwelling can still be considered to be separated under some circumstances. For example, if two spouses live in the same house but never talk to each other, sleep in separate rooms, and do not engage in physical intimacy, they can be said to be leading separate lives, even though they live in the same home. Additionally, If spouses have differences they cannot resolve or both spouses consent, they can file for divorce in Maryland.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, colloquially known as a “prenup,” is an outlining of how assets are to be distributed between spouses should a marriage end. A prenuptial agreement does not always indicate an a weak marriage. Many couples have these agreements in happy, stable marriages. Couples may also have prenuptial agreements if they have many assets or own a business and want to take account of them in the unlikely event that a marriage ends.


Alimony is payment from one spouse to another. Alimony is often associated with divorce, but alimony payments often happen while litigation is pending, too. Once a marriage is ended. Alimony payments can be required for a limited period of time or indefinitely, depending on a couple’s unique circumstances.

The prospect of being required to make alimony payments – or needing them – can be very distressing. Our lawyers can assist you whether you are seeking alimony payments or seeking to avoid them.


Adopting a child also falls under the area of family law. There can be a variety of legal hurdles to adopting a child, depending on whether that child is already in Maryland, out of the state, or from another country. Speak to our family law lawyers about your situation, and we can help you out.

Child Custody/Visitation

Family law also covers modifying child custody and visitation agreements. These terms are usually set in place when divorce proceedings are finalized. However, things can change over time, and someone who may not have been good to have in a child’s life may have changed their ways and wish to be more involved. In those types of cases, you should speak to an attorney.

Child Support

Another thing that our lawyers can help you with is modification of child support payments.

There is a legal requirement for parents to support their children, even when separated. Child support payments are meant to cover the cost of things like education, health and medical expenses, food, and housing. However, child support payments can also be court-ordered for specific, niche things. For example, a parent can be required to pay child support for continued music lessons so that a child does not suddenly have something they enjoy ripped away from them due to parental separation. The idea is to maintain stability in the child’s life.

Courts generally only get involved in child support issues when a child is no longer living with both of their parents together. When that happens, the court wants to ensure that both parents are contributing to the child’s well-being.

Child support payments are based on the needs of the child as well as the income of the paying parent, so they will vary from client to client. If you are looking to stop child support payments because you think they are not warranted, wish to modify your payments, or have other child support concerns, you should contact our offices.

Talk to a Germantown, MD Family Law Attorney About Your Case Today

Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s family law attorneys can be reached to discuss your case at (410) 694-7291.