Baltimore County Divorce

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Baltimore County Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be a difficult transition for any of the over 140,000 families living in Baltimore County, Maryland. If you live in this county and are considering a divorce, it can drain you emotionally, financially, and even psychologically. This is especially true if you don’t have a Baltimore County divorce attorney to fight for and protect your best interests.

Whether you’ve been considering the possibility of filing or are already in the process, understanding the ins and outs of divorce in Baltimore County and why you should consider working with an experienced divorce lawyer is essential.

What Does a Baltimore County Divorce Lawyer Do?

In a nutshell, a divorce lawyer is a professional who specializes in the legal process of divorce. This attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the divorce process and provide the legal guidance and support you need to achieve a favorable outcome.

Overview of the Divorce Process in Baltimore County, Maryland

In Maryland, there are two main types of divorce processes: absolute and limited divorce.

An absolute divorce ends your marriage legally and also settles key issues such as property ownership and distribution. After finalizing this process, you and your former spouse may remarry.

On the other hand, a limited divorce settles certain critical issues in your marriage but does not end the marriage. For example, you may file for limited divorce to solve the issue of child custody and support before filing for absolute divorce.

Also note that in Baltimore County, you must have grounds for divorce to file a limited or absolute divorce.

Some possible grounds for limited divorce include separation, abuse, cruelty, or desertion. A spouse may also file for absolute divorce based on mutual consent, adultery, insanity, or the other spouse’s imprisonment for a crime.

Here is how this process works.

The divorce process begins with the filing of a Summons and Complaint at the county’s Circuit Court by one spouse. Then, the other spouse must be served with copies of these documents.

The spouse filing for divorce must also send to the court proof that the other spouse received copies of the Complaint.

The spouse being served with the divorce papers usually has 30 days to respond if they live in Maryland. If they live in another state, they have up to 60 days to respond. But if they live outside the United States, they may have up to 90 days to file a response.

Once the answer is filed, the parties will participate in discovery, the process of exchanging information about their assets, debts, and income. After discovery, the parties will attend a mediation session to try to agree on the terms of their divorce. If they cannot reach an agreement at mediation, they may proceed to trial.

Keep in mind that this is just an overview of a general divorce process in Baltimore County. The exact process will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. That is why it is always advisable to consult an experienced Baltimore County divorce attorney. The attorney will review your case and advise you on how best to proceed.

What Is the Legal Definition of Divorce in Maryland?

In Maryland, divorce is defined as the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court of law. As mentioned, you can either file an absolute divorce or limited divorce in this state.

What Are Some Important Laws Regarding Divorce in Maryland?

Maryland divorce laws are broad. That said, there are a few important laws you should know if you are considering filing for a divorce in this state. They are as follows:

First, Maryland is a “no-fault” state when it comes to divorce. This means you do not need to prove that your spouse did anything wrong in order to get a divorce. Rather, all you need to do is show that your marriage has “irretrievably broken down.”

To get a “no-fault” divorce, Maryland family law requires that you and your spouse live apart voluntarily for at least 12 months or involuntarily for two years before filing. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as if there is evidence of abuse or adultery.

The issue of property division in Maryland is generally decided on an “equitable” basis. This means that the property will be divided between the spouses in a way that is fair but not necessarily equal. Examples of factors that the court will consider when making this determination include but are not limited to the following:

  • each spouse’s income and earning potential;
  • the length of the marriage; and
  • each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of property during the marriage.

Importantly, at least one spouse must be a resident of Maryland. However, suppose the ground for divorce occurred in Maryland. In that case, the individual filing for divorce only needs to be a resident at the time of filing. On the other hand, if filing for divorce based on reasons that occurred outside the state, then one spouse must be a resident of Maryland for at least six months.

Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Maryland?

As mentioned earlier, in Maryland, the court will consider what’s fair when determining who gets what during a divorce. The same principle applies when it comes to deciding who gets the house. In this case, ‘fair’ does not necessarily mean ‘equal.’ That is also one of the many reasons to hire an experienced attorney to review your case and protect your interests and rights during a divorce.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Maryland?

Divorce costs in Maryland vary depending on the county in which you file and the specific circumstances of your divorce. For example, filing an uncontested divorce may cost less than filing a contested one, with assets to divide and/or custody issues to resolve. In addition, you will need to factor in the cost of hiring an attorney if you choose that option (which you should).

What Am I Entitled to In a Divorce In Baltimore County, Maryland?

During a divorce in Baltimore County, MD, you are entitled to an equitable share of the marital property. This includes all the assets and debts acquired during the marriage.

However, keep in mind that Maryland is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will divide the property in a fair and just manner, taking into account all relevant factors.

You may be entitled to spousal support if you cannot support yourself after the divorce. But the court will consider many factors when determining whether to award spousal support. Examples of factors that could decide whether you need spousal support and the duration of support include the following:

  • the length of the marriage;
  • each spouse’s age, health, education, and employment history;
  • either spouse’s income and earning potential; and
  • any prior agreements between the spouses.

If you have minor children, you may also be entitled to child custody and child support. In Maryland, child custody is decided based on the child(ren) ‘s best interests. When making this determination, the court will consider the following factors:

  • child’s age;
  • the child’s relationship with each parent;
  • each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs;
  • and any history of abuse or neglect by either parent.

To further understand what you may be entitled to during a divorce in Baltimore County, Maryland, we have created this Divorce Plan Checklist. You can also contact us for a consultation with a Baltimore County divorce attorney who cares about your rights and has the plan to get you the outcome you deserve.

How a Divorce Lawyer from Divorce With a Plan Can Help

As they say, the person you marry is not usually the person you divorce. That is one of the key reasons spouses hire divorce attorneys in the first place.

A Baltimore County divorce lawyer from Divorce With a Plan can help you navigate the complex legal system and protect your rights throughout the divorce process.

Many different things could go south during the divorce process. The last thing you want is to make decisions you will regret many years after the divorce has been finalized. For instance, with one stroke of a pen, you could unknowingly sign away your rights to custody or support.

Our divorce lawyers can help you understand the Maryland divorce process and how the law applies to your unique situation. They can also help you negotiate a fair agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, including child custody, support arrangements, and more. And if your case goes to trial, we can represent you in court.

Considering Divorce? You Need the Right Plan From a Skilled Attorney

At Divorce With a Plan, we are not just any other family law firm in Baltimore County, MD. We are different, not because we say so, but because we constantly prove it.

Our family lawyers are not just focused on settling cases and moving on to the next. Rather, we approach each case with the carefulness, seriousness, and thoroughness it deserves. We plan and evaluate possible outcomes to ensure they are in our client’s best interests.

If you are considering a divorce or are already in the process, contact us today for a consultation with a Baltimore County divorce attorney who has your best interests at heart.