What Is Your Experience In Handling Family Law Cases?


I have about 10 years of experience practicing family law. What brought me to family law was my interest in helping people in crisis. I am patient, compassionate, and a good listener. My instinct is to comfort, and I have found that these qualities translate well when helping those facing big life changes and challenges. It is the one area of law that doesn’t feel like work for me; it feels like something I really enjoy doing. I have tried other areas of the law, and I just didn’t feel the same way about them.

Why Is It Necessary To Hire An Attorney When Contemplating A Divorce?

Going through a divorce is a complicated process, and there are rules and procedures that need to be followed. A lawyer is familiar with these rules and procedures, but for a non-lawyer, they can be very confusing; missing a deadline, not submitting a form, etc. can have a massive impact on their case. Also, some people may not understand that they have certain rights in a divorce case as well as certain obligations. By hiring an attorney, they can get advice in terms of their rights, what they could potentially settle for and what they are could or should concede on. An experienced attorney will have seen many different cases and scenarios played out, and can offer clients that perspective and expertise in order to fairly resolve their case.

In Your Experience, Does Everyone Need An Attorney?

Having an attorney makes the family law process easier for the litigants. In an ideal world, everyone would have an attorney. If the parties have property together, children, retirement accounts, and so on, an attorney would probably be necessary to explain how everything gets divided and what your best course of action is. But, if a case is fairly simple and there are no children or property involved, and both parties agree to the divorce and know where the other lives, then an attorney may not be necessary.

What Are The Grounds To File For Divorce In Maryland?

There are two types of divorce: limited and absolute. To get an absolute divorce, one or more of the following must apply: 1) you have been separated for 12 months, 2) your spouse committed adultery, 3) your spouse committed cruel treatment or excessively vicious conduct against you, 4) your spouse is incarcerated for more than three years, 5) your spouse is confined to a mental institution and is evaluated by at least two physicians to be insane, 6) your spouse deserted you either actually or constructively, or 7) you agree on each and every issue in your case, have a separation agreement, and can obtain a divorce based on “mutual consent.” If none of those apply to you, then you can file for a limited divorce. You can file for a limited divorce based on cruelty of treatment, excessively vicious conduct, desertion or voluntary separation if you’ve been separated for at least a day. So, you would file for a limited divorce if you really don’t have grounds for an absolute divorce.

Are Most People Aware Of The Different Types Of Divorce In Maryland?

Many people inquire about limited divorces. Unless you really have the specific grounds laid out in the statute, you can’t get an absolute divorce, but sometimes you still need relief. For instance, the people who I would suggest file for a limited divorce are those who have children in common, need financial support of any type, or need use and possession of any type of property and they have children. Those people would potentially file for a limited divorce in order to get something in place while they wait to file for an absolute divorce.

Is There Any Required Period Of Separation Prior To Filing For Divorce In Maryland?

There is a required period of one year of separation for an absolute divorce, unless you have fault grounds (cruelty, excessively vicious conduct, adultery, desertion, insanity, or incarceration). Mutual consent divorce is a great option for those who want a divorce and have an agreement about all of the outstanding issues in their case, including child custody. There is no separation time required for mutual consent.

Is Mediation Better Than The Court Process In A Divorce Scenario?

I am a strong proponent of mediation. While I am a litigator and a strong advocate for my clients, I am also a trained mediator. I have represented all sides in a divorce case, including the children. When mediation is effective, it’s the best way to resolve a dispute. This is because both parties play a part in how things are resolved and they know what to expect. As a result, there is less stress and anxiety and they are not placing their major life decisions in the hands of a judge, who doesn’t know them other than what is presented in court.

Mediation is not possible in a case where there is a history of domestic violence. This would change the dynamic of the mediation and rather than a conversation with a neutral third party, one of the parties may feel intimidated or controlled by their abusive spouse. Likewise, mediation would not work in a case where one or both of the parties are unreasonable, or if one or both of the parties have no interest in resolving a case through mediation. In those scenarios, the parties will have to litigate the matter before a judge or reach a settlement with their attorneys. There are no guarantees in litigation and it can become very expensive. In litigation, the parties are asking a judge to make a decision for their family situation; it is very possible that the judge will make a decision that neither of the parties is happy with.

For more information on Handling Family Law Cases In Maryland, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 340-1911 today.

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