Howard County, MD, Divorce & Family Lawyer
Family and domestic law often presents difficult and emotionally challenging issues to the parties involved, but the issues resolved in a divorce or other family law matter can affect family members for years to come. For these reasons, the advice and assistance of an experienced family and domestic law attorney is critical to protecting your rights and meeting your needs for the long-term. In Maryland, the Coover Law Firm in Columbia is here to assist you in all family law matters to achieve the resolution of your case as quickly and comfortably as possible.
Divorce and Legal Separation in Maryland
In a proceeding for separation or dissolution of marriage in Maryland, the parties must decide on important issues such as the division of marital property, the payment of spousal support or alimony, child custody and visitation, and the payment of child support. If the divorcing couple cannot agree on all of these matters, then they will be decided by the family court judge following a trial on the issues. In every area, the court has the discretion and authority to rule on matters in the best interest of the children or based on the most persuasive arguments made by the parties’ attorneys. Even the outcome of child support, which is normally based on statutory guidelines and formulas, may be decided based on the needs of the couple and their children as presented in court. It is therefore essential to have a knowledgeable and experienced Maryland divorce lawyer with courtroom experience looking out for your interests throughout the process.
Absolute v. Limited Divorce in Maryland
In order to obtain a full divorce in Maryland, known as absolute divorce, you have to be able to prove one of the statutory grounds for divorce, such as desertion or cruelty. If you can’t prove one of these “fault-based” grounds for divorce, you can opt for a “no-fault” divorce, but divorce under one of these grounds requires that you live separate and apart for one or two years first. While you are separated, you may still need the protection of the courts to issue court orders or approve a legally enforceable agreement on matters such as custody, support and property division. A limited divorce offers such legal boundaries. Parties can later obtain an absolute divorce once they meet all the requirements, which will enable them to enter into a romantic relationship or marry another.
Other reasons for a legal separation or limited divorce include when the parties cannot divorce for religious reasons or need to stay married for tax or financial reasons, but still wish to live apart. Also, with a limited divorce, the couple leaves open the option of reconciliation, at which time they can come back together and still be legally married.
In either an absolute or limited divorce, the attorneys at the Coover Law Firm can offer the kind of advice and representation you need to make sure you rights and interests are protected.
Help with Divorce, Separation and Post-Divorce Issues in Maryland
At Coover Law Firm, we are with you from the very start on every issue relevant to your divorce. We make sure that all property is located, correctly identified as marital or separate property, and accurately valued for a fair property settlement. On important matters such as custody or support, we make sure your voice is heard and your needs are met. We also assist clients in post-divorce modifications or enforcement of domestic relations orders where necessary. In Columbia, contact the Coover Law Firm for help with your Maryland divorce.