Family Lawyer Rockville MD
A Family Lawyer Rockville MD Residents Rely On Explains How Divorce Proceedings Work
Our family lawyer in Rockville MD from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright is often asked questions regarding divorce proceedings. We have taken the liberty of answering some of the most common questions.
Is it necessary that I hire a family lawyer in Rockville MD or can I represent myself?
In some situations, divorcing couples are able to move through the divorce process fairly smoothly. Before you decide that you will represent yourself, you will need to carefully review your situation. Being able to amicably move through a divorce will ultimately save both you and your ex time and money. However, emotions can run high and sometimes they can get in the way of coming together to form an agreement. It can also cause one to make mistakes. A family lawyer in Rockville MD can not only help you navigate the legal system and negotiate an agreement; they can provide the objectivity you need for a successful outcome.
How do I initiate a divorce?
Once you and your partner have determined that you will no longer continue your marriage, you may feel overwhelmed or unsure of the next steps. With the assistance of a family lawyer in Rockville MD, the divorce petition is the first step in the process. One party will serve the petition to the other party. They will sign or accept the petition acknowledging that they have received it. Following this, your family lawyer in Rockville MD will file the petition with the court. There are key elements of a divorce petition including the reason for the divorce and information regarding each party. In addition, there may be temporary orders or agreements within the petition that include:
- Custody details
- Child support arrangements
- Visitation guidelines
- Financial agreements
How long will it take to complete the divorce process?
Sometimes a divorce can take a long time. This is especially true in situations that are contentious and the parties are unable to reach agreements. Unfortunately, when parties are unwilling to negotiate fairly with one another, it can be costly and time consuming. In divorces that are uncontested and parties are able to easily reach agreements, the process can take up to six months. Our family lawyer in Rockville MD from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright will work with you to move through the process as quickly as possible.
What if we have difficulty reaching an agreement?
Your family lawyer in Rockville MD may recommend mediation as a solution. If you and your ex are able to reach an agreement, it can be formalized by your attorneys. If mediation is unsuccessful, litigation may be the next logical step.
We can help you navigate the minefield known as divorce. Your family lawyer in Rockville MD from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright can support you each step of the way.
Why is a divorce lawyer helpful when children are involved?
Divorce can be incredibly complicated, especially if children are involved. Matters like child support, child custody, and visitation rights are all added to the divorce process. A good divorce lawyer in Maryland will know how to help you throughout the entire divorce to get fair rights with your children. Some ex spouses are really good at dealing with one another and coming to a mutual agreement, but it is still very important to have a judge make a decision — or a mediator help you and your ex spouse come to an agreement — so everything is in writing and set in stone. All of these matters are fluid and able to be changed by a judge at any point, but you need to have all of your rights in writing so that if your ex spouse violates anything he or she will be held accountable for those actions and you will have any wrongs against you or your children corrected.
A family lawyer who specializes in divorce will know what kind of documents are important to write up regarding your children during a divorce proceeding, and will have your child’s best interest in mind the entire time you are going through this process.
If my ex spouse and I agree on everything, do we need to hire a lawyer?
Absolutely. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex spouse agree on every single matter, it is still important to have your own representation so that your rights are looked after and protected. The calm and agreeable ex spouse could change their tune at any moment, so it is crucial to have someone who will always be on your side and look after your legal rights. Your family lawyer can help with mediation and friendly conversations with your ex spouse to come to legal agreements, but if anything does go wrong — now or in the future — your lawyer will be there to have the proper documentation to back up your case. It is important to have different representation than your soon-to-be ex so that you know your needs are the top priority in your case. Your lawyer will also help ensure you meet any crucial deadlines and file the right paperwork so the divorce process goes as smoothly as possible for you.
How are assets split up after a divorce?
It always depends on what state you live in on how you and your ex spouse need to divide property, so it is important that if you live in Maryland, you hire a good Maryland family lawyer that residents in the area trust. He or she will know the ins and outs of the law and what kind of compensation you can expect to get after the divorce is finalized. This may also depend on any legal documents you may have signed with your ex spouse in the past, like a prenuptial agreement, and if you had any mutual understanding about property you owned together or separately. A lawyer will be able to best explain to you what you are entitled to.
A Lawyer for Your Family Matters
During an individual’s lifetime, they may encounter a period when they need the counsel of a family lawyer Rockville MD residents trust. That is why many choose to consult with a lawyer at the Law Office Of Daniel Wright. We have been in business for more than 35 years and have an extensive legal portfolio to show for it. We hold our legal responsibility in high regard, and can ensure our clients receive the maximum compensation possible. We can offer advice on a wide range of legal issues that may impact a family dynamic. It can be an incredibly challenging and tragic time, so it is key you choose a firm that is familiar with family law cases. We can help you with the following circumstances listed below, and more.
Common Family Law Cases
- Marriage laws
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Parental rights
- Child neglect
- Abuse protection
- Dividing of assets due to divorce
By choosing a family lawyer Rockville MD clients depend on from the Law Office Of Daniel Wright, you can feel confident that you have someone on your side to assess and advise you throughout the delegation. We understand how complex and stressful this experience may be and can help take the weight off your shoulders so you are not dealing with this alone. A lawyer at the Law Office Of Daniel Wright may perform a variety of tasks on your behalf.
Family Lawyer Responsibilities
- Litigation: Defending your rights in court and during hearings
- Counseling: Guiding you through an emotionally turbulent time
- Negotiating: A proceeding may occur outside the courtroom through a more structured back and forth process
- Financial Knowledge: Your family lawyer Rockville MD parents rely on can assist with accounting and financial decisions
Whether you are going through a divorce, child custody trial, or fighting for spousal support, here at the Law Office Of Daniel Wright, our legal team can provide sound advice depending on your unique circumstances. We are more than happy to talk with you about the details of your personal case. The choices you make during each step of the family matter will not only change your life but the loved ones around you. Each family lawyer Rockville MD locals count on from our firm can fight for your finances, family, and future happiness. We can seek justice and may help you achieve your goals in the most efficient way possible.
A Rockville MD family lawyer from the Law Office Of Daniel Wright can meet with you either in our offices or at a location of your choosing. If you are out of town, we may utilize Facetime or Skype appointments in order to continue working forward in your benefit. We can work tirelessly to make you feel more at ease, and that all aspects of your trial are running smoothly.
Getting a Postnuptial Agreement
While most people have heard about prenuptial agreements, not everyone is aware of postnuptial agreements. Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement indicates how a married couple’s assets will be divided after a divorce and the amount of spousal support one must pay to the other. However, a postnuptial agreement is made after a couple has gotten married.
A family lawyer in Rockville, MD at Daniel J. Wright can provide some further information about postnuptial agreements.
What’s Included in a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements typically include the same types of provision as prenuptial agreements. Here are some of the most common provisions in postnuptial agreements:
- How marital debts, including mortgages and credit card debt, will be divided in the event of a divorce
- How marital assets will be divided in the event of a divorce
- Whether or not one spouse must pay spousal support in the event of a divorce
- How much child support one spouse will provide to minor children in the event of a divorce
What Can’t a Postnuptial Agreement Do?
A postnuptial agreement is unable to get rid of legal duties of a spouse or deal with child custody or child support issues. This agreement is also unconscionable, meaning that it can’t favor one spouse over the other.
When Is a Postnuptial Agreement a Good Idea?
Not all couples who enter into postnuptial agreements are necessarily thinking about getting a divorce. They may enter into these agreements for many other reasons. For example, if you have children from other marriages, you might want to make sure that your assets go to them no matter what. Getting a postnuptial agreement can guarantee that your children receive these assets.
If your spouse has been financially irresponsible during the marriage and caused you a lot of stress, you may also want to consider a postnuptial agreement.
Another reason you may consider getting a postnuptial agreement is if you just inherited a home or another large asset and want to claim it as your own.
When Is a Postnuptial Agreement Unnecessary?
Postnuptial agreements don’t make sense for every married couple. For instance, if there’s a significant income disparity in your marriage, the spouse who earns less may feel that they wouldn’t receive adequate support in the event of a divorce.
When You Need a Family Lawyer
People call upon a family lawyer in Rockville MD for numerous reasons, ranging from divorce and child custody issues to child abuse and neglect. Even if you are a childless couple seeking to adopt, a family lawyer from the law firm of Daniel J. Wright can assist in guiding you through the process.
In the old days, the only way anyone could divorce their spouse was to prove that one of the parties was at fault for the failure of the relationship. Typical reasons were adultery, domestic abuse, insanity and/or abandonment. While those are still valid reasons, Maryland today recognizes the concept of “no-fault” divorce. This means either partner can petition for divorce for any reason — or none at all. There are certain stipulations, however. The primary condition is that the spouses must live apart continually for no less than one year before filing for what is known as an “absolute divorce.” Alternatively, couples may file for a “limited divorce,” which is usually done when one spouse depends on support from the other. A family lawyer in Rockville MD can advise you on these issues.
Whereas many states recognize the concept of “community property” (meaning that all property acquired during the marriage is shared equally), Maryland courts divide property based on “equitable distribution.” This does not necessarily mean that property is equally divided; rather, the court determines who gets what based on each party’s needs and situation.
Child Custody and Support
When the separation is amicable, most couples are prepared and willing to enter into an agreement when it comes to the children. In other cases, however, it is necessary to call upon the services of a mediator, a family lawyer in Rockville MD who is trained in conflict resolution. In other cases, the judge may make the decision if the parties cannot arrive at an agreement. In either case, the decision is made based on what is best for the children.
Child Abuse and Neglect
In Maryland, police officers, teachers, health care providers and social workers are legally required to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. Their assessment may not always be correct; if you have been wrongly accused of mistreating or neglecting a child in your custody, a family lawyer can help, especially if the state threatens to put the child in foster care. Usually, there is a hearing; having a family lawyer in Rockville MD to represent you is a good idea.
While adopting a child is usually a straightforward process, complications can arise; there may be questions about the prospective parent’s ability to care for the child or the child’s biological parent or relatives may contest the adoption. Even if there are no issues, the red tape involved can be overwhelming. A family lawyer from Daniel J. Wright is well versed in adoption laws and regulations; such services can be invaluable in helping parents or individuals wishing to adopt in navigating the complex and often overwhelming details that are part of the process.
5 Things to Know About Divorce Mediation
The Process Looks Much Different Than Court Proceedings
With mediation, you and your divorcing partner will choose a mediator together and that person will serve as a facilitator for both of you. Through a series of meetings, you, your ex-partner, and the mediator will discuss and decide on the terms of the divorce. It is also different from litigation because the tone of the meetings is one of cooperation, not competition. The divorcing spouses must come to an agreement, however, because the role of the mediator is not to decide upon the terms for you. Choosing a family lawyer in Rockville, MD, to serve as a mediator ensures you have a knowledgeable guide for this process.
It May Take Less Time Than Litigation
Depending on the level of contention you and your spouse have for each other, the mediation process can be completed in as little as two meeting sessions. However, even in situations with difficulty and disagreement, mediation is usually completed within a shorter time period than court hearings. There is no guaranteed timeframe, but attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright will do their best to give you an accurate idea of what to expect from the process.
It Can Be Less Expensive Than Litigation
By avoiding court fees and the extended time periods often associated with divorce litigation, you can potentially save a considerable amount of money by going the mediation route. A trusted family lawyer in Rockville, MD, may be able to work with you and your divorcing partner to save money by avoiding court-associated costs.
Mediation Provides Privacy and Confidentiality
Court orders and documents can expose the private details of your marriage and divorce. Successfully completing the mediation process means you can avoid making this information public. You can trust the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright to provide a comfortable and private setting, where you can feel at ease during these discussions.
You May End Up in Court
Sometimes disagreements are too great to be overcome and mediation fails to bring about amicable compromise. When that happens, litigation is the next step. If you and your divorcing spouse cannot come to an agreement with the help of a mediator, you will need a judge to make the appropriate determinations for you. If this happens, you will each need a separate family lawyer in Rockville, MD, to be on your side throughout the court proceedings.
What Not To Do During a Divorce
The separation and divorce process are rarely easy, but navigating the period between filing and finalizing the divorce can be especially difficult. It may seem like your every decision is impacted by your pending divorce. There are certain behaviors you should avoid during this time, and there is a way to remove some of the uncertainty you may be having about how to proceed.
Don’t Do Anything Illegal or Inappropriate
It may go without saying, but any activities that would be considered inappropriate or even unlawful should be avoided during this time. Poor choices will most likely affect a court’s decisions when considering spousal support, division of assets, and child custody and visitation matters. In addition to illegal activity that could lead to an arrest, there are some other behaviors that should be avoided if possible. A family lawyer in Rockville, MD, can help you plan the best way forward according to your unique circumstances.
Don’t Stop Working
Do not quit your job. If your spouse is requesting alimony, your voluntary unemployment will not win you any favors with the court and it may not affect the amount of support you are ordered to pay. If you are requesting your spouse pay alimony, quitting your job can appear manipulative and may also backfire during litigation. The attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright are skilled in navigating this complicated process and may be able to help you with spousal support.
Do not make any big purchases or donations. This may appear to the court as a tactic to skew asset amounts or divisions. You should attempt to keep your finances unchanged during a divorce.
There are numerous other decisions that could be detrimental to your divorce case, but working with a family lawyer in Rockville, MD, can help you avoid costly or damaging mistakes. You should try to keep things as stable as possible and maintain the status quo. Any big changes can create difficulty and potentially hurt your case.
Do Look Into Pendente Lite Orders
Knowing how to maintain the status quo when you are in a period of intense flux can seem impossible. If you need some guidance on what to do during this period, a pendente lite order can be beneficial. This is a temporary order that will stay in effect until your divorce is finalized. It can establish guidelines on many common areas of disagreement between spouses, like child custody and visitation, as well as both spousal and child support.
Contacting a Family Lawyer in Rockville, MD
If you’re considering getting a postnuptial agreement, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family lawyer in Rockville, MD. He or she can help you draft this agreement and make sure that you’re following all of the legal requirements. During your initial consultation with a Rockville family lawyer, you may want to ask these questions:
- Will the postnuptial agreement be valid if we move to another state?
- Is a postnuptial agreement the right choice for me and my spouse?
- How much do you charge to draft postnuptial agreements?
Schedule a free consultation with a qualified family lawyer in Rockville, MD today to discuss your situation in further detail.
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