Family Lawyer Rockville MD
A Rockville Family Lawyer Residents Rely On Explains How Divorce Proceedings Work
During an individual’s lifetime, they may encounter a period when they need the counsel of a Rockville family lawyer 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 that you choose a firm that is familiar with family law cases. We can help you with the following circumstances listed below, and more.
- Divorce Guidance Is Available
- Common Family Law Cases
- Family Lawyer Responsibilities
- Getting a Postnuptial Agreement
- When You Need a Family Lawyer
- 5 Things to Know About Divorce Mediation
- What Not To Do During a Divorce
- Rockville Family Lawyer Infographic
- Rockville Family Law Statistics
- Law Office of Daniel J. Wright Rockville Family Lawyer
Family Lawyer Rockville MD
Divorce Guidance Is Available
Couples choose to divorce for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes a single event or revelation leads to marital dissolution, while other times the choice to split builds up over a significant amount of time. Whatever the reason(s), if you and/or your spouse have determined that divorce is currently the healthiest available option, you are likely grappling with a host of challenging emotions. Because divorce inspires an extraordinarily heightened level of emotion, it can often be difficult to determine whether all of one’s emotions are grounded and reasonable.
Thankfully, you do not need to process any significant decisions related to your divorce process alone. Speaking with an experienced Rockville, MD divorce lawyer can help you to see past the heightened state of your emotions to their potential practical consequences. For example, you may be feeling paranoid that your spouse is hiding assets from you. It can be difficult to know whether to act upon this suspicion given that you may be feeling betrayed, scared or angry right now and these emotions may or may not be clouding your judgment. Speaking with the Rockville, Maryland family law firm “The Law Office of Daniel Wright” about your suspicions may help to clarify whether you should act upon them immediately or wait until you have processed your emotions a bit longer before deciding to take action.
If you believe that you may need to hire a private investigator during your divorce, we hope you will consider scheduling a consultation with our Rockville family law firm. We would be happy to listen to your questions and advise you in accordance with your particular circumstances. While it is critically important not to allow heightened emotions to “drive” your divorce process, it is also important not to dismiss potentially relevant suspicions that could impact the terms of your divorce decree, including property division and spousal support/alimony. It may indeed be the case that hiring a P.I. could benefit your process and we will be happy to explore this possibility with you.
If it seems like a prudent decision to do so, hiring a P.I. may allow you to obtain evidence related to your spouse’s misrepresentation of his or her assets, behavior, living situation, etc. While some kinds of misrepresentations are immaterial to the divorce process, others can significantly impact the outcome of a potential divorce decree. We would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of hiring outside investigative assistance with you.
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
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 for your benefit. We can work tirelessly to make you feel more at ease, and that all aspects of your trial are running smoothly.
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 Rockville family lawyer 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 provisions 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 Rockville family lawyer 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 Rockville family lawyer 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 Rockville family lawyer 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 Rockville family lawyer, 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.
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
Rockville Family Lawyer Infographic
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 a 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.
Rockville Family Law Statistics
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, mothers are awarded sole or primary physical custody in about 80% of child custody cases in the United States.
- About 26.5% of children under the age of 21 live with only one parent.
- About 30.1% of children living with only one parent live in poverty.
- About 40% of U.S. states have laws that favor joint custody.
- About 51% of custody cases are settled without a judge’s ruling.
Rockville Family Laws
Maryland, like every state in the United States, has a set of comprehensive family laws in place to govern various aspects of family life, from marriage and divorce to child custody and support. In this article, we will delve into specific Maryland family laws that are crucial to understanding how family matters are regulated in the state. Always contact a Rockville, MD family lawyer from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright if you have any questions or concerns.
Maryland family law requires that individuals be at least 18 years old to get married without parental consent. However, the legal age for marriage with parental consent is 16 for males and 15 for females. It’s important to note that Maryland recognizes both traditional marriage and same-sex marriage, ensuring equal rights for all couples.
Maryland is a no-fault divorce state, meaning couples can seek divorce without alleging wrongdoing by either party. To file for divorce, at least one spouse must have resided in Maryland for a minimum of six months before initiating the process. The state also allows for both limited and absolute divorce, each with its own set of criteria and implications.
Child Custody And Visitation
When it comes to child custody and visitation, Maryland family law prioritizes the best interests of the child. The court considers various factors, including the child’s age, health, and relationship with each parent. Joint custody is encouraged when possible, but the court may award sole custody if it deems it in the child’s best interest. Visitation rights are also determined by the court based on the child’s welfare. Contact a Rockville family lawyer if you have any questions about what child custody could look like for you.
Maryland law mandates that both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children. Child support guidelines are in place to calculate the amount one parent must pay to the other. These guidelines take into account factors such as the parents’ incomes, the number of children, and other related expenses.
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is governed by Maryland family law to ensure fairness and equity in financial matters after a divorce. The court assesses various factors, including the duration of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse, and their respective contributions to the marriage, when determining alimony awards. An experienced Rockville family lawyer can help figure out what alimony might look like for your family.
Domestic Violence And Protective Orders
Maryland takes domestic violence seriously and has strict laws in place to protect victims. Victims can obtain protective orders to ensure their safety and prevent the alleged abuser from contacting them. Violating a protective order is a criminal offense with severe consequences.
Maryland family law provides guidelines and procedures for adoption, whether it’s a stepparent, agency, or private adoption. These laws prioritize the best interests of the child and require background checks, home studies, and legal processes to ensure a safe and loving environment for the child.
Contact Us Today To Learn More
In Maryland, family laws are designed to protect the rights and interests of all family members, ensuring that each individual is treated fairly and equitably under the law. Whether you’re considering marriage, divorce, child custody, or any other family matter, understanding Maryland’s family laws is crucial.
If you have questions or need legal assistance regarding family matters in Maryland, don’t hesitate to reach out toThe Law Office of Daniel J. Wright. We are here to provide you with expert guidance and support to navigate the complexities of Maryland family law. Your family’s well-being is our top priority, and we are committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a consultation and let us assist you in protecting your family’s future.
Law Office of Daniel J. Wright Rockville Family Lawyer
20 Courthouse Square, Suite 212, Rockville, MD 20850
Rockville Family Lawyer Google Review
“I went to Mr. Wright for a modification of custody and visitation. Mr. Wright was extremely professional, responsive, charismatic, knowledgeable, prompt, and assertive. I was awarded partial custody and given proper visitation with my son after not being able to see him for over a year due to parental alienation. Mr. Wright assured me he could help me achieve my desired results and he absolutely kept his word . Watching him work the courtroom was an absolute joy, he knew his stuff. He gave me the best gift anyone could ever ask for helping me get reunited with my son. I am beyond grateful to Mr. Wright for everything .” – Danielle W.
Contacting a Family Lawyer in Rockville, MD
If you have concerns about your divorce process, please consider scheduling a consultation with our Rockville, Maryland family law firm. We have extensive experience assisting clients to navigate both amicable and contentious divorce processes alike. Once we learn more about your unique circumstances, we will be able to speak with you about your legal options and craft a solid legal strategy moving forward. With that said, it is important to understand that meeting with our Rockville, Maryland family law firm team does not commit you to take any specific actions whatsoever. The primary purpose of a consultation is to help to ensure that whatever choices you decide are right for you are as informed as possible; even if your ultimate approach is to take no action at all.
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 Rockville family lawyer today to discuss your situation in further detail.