Bethesda Divorce Lawyer
Are you in the process of filing for divorce but are not sure where to start? If so, a Bethesda divorce lawyer can help you navigate the complex divorce process in Maryland. Here is everything you need to know about getting a divorce in Bethesda, including the role of an experienced attorney.
Bethesda, an unincorporated, census-designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, is home to around 65,000 people as of 2022. According to research, 61% of the local population comprises married couples. Around 15% of the locals are divorced.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Bethesda?
If you are considering filing for divorce in Bethesda, the first requirement is to have legal grounds to proceed with the divorce. The term ‘grounds’ refers to a legally accepted reason for divorce.
The grounds for divorce will depend on the type of divorce you wish to file. In Bethesda and the rest of Maryland, there are two main types of divorce, as discussed below.
This is the kind of divorce you file when you want to end the marriage permanently. Some common grounds for seeking absolute divorce include:
- Infidelity by either spouse
- Desertion – when one spouse intentionally deserts the other for at least 12 months with no intentions of re-establishing contact
- Imprisonment – when one spouse is sentenced to at least three years in a US prison
- Cruelty – when one spouse treats the other with extreme cruelty, prompting them to end the marriage
- Mutual consent – when both spouses mutually agree to end the marriage
When you file a limited divorce, it means that the marriage is still valid, but you and your spouse have decided to stay away from each other. Some common grounds for filing a limited divorce include:
- Separation – when both parties no longer live together or have sexual relations
- Cruelty – when one spouse treats the other with cruelty, forcing them to opt-out of the marriage
- Desertion – when one spouse abandons the other for a prolonged period with no intentions of re-establishing contact
Do I Have to Go to Court for a Divorce?
You do not need to physically appear in court for a divorce in Bethesda or elsewhere in Maryland. State laws provide other ways to initiate the divorce without involving a court in the initial stages. However, the court might be involved later, but you might not be required to be physically present.
These options are known as Alternative Dispute Resolution methods. They include:
Here, you and your spouse work out important details such as child support, spousal support, and property division. After reaching an agreement, you will then sign a separation agreement. An attorney usually provides this agreement.
The mediation process involves a mediator, who may also be an attorney. The mediator helps both parties develop an agreement that works best for them. The mediator does not make decisions for the divorcing parties; they only encourage them to discuss the terms of their agreement before ending the marriage.
This option involves a team of experts from different spheres, such as legal, financial, or medical. The team members must sign an agreement to affirm their commitment to keeping the matter out of court. This is because taking the matter to court would lead to a conflict of interest and jeopardize the collaborative divorce process.
This method involves direct communication between the legal representatives of both spouses to agree on important issues such as child custody, alimony, property division, etc. It works best when both spouses cannot seem to communicate effectively with each other.
Once both parties have reached an agreement, their divorce can be finalized in court as an uncontested divorce. For this reason, they may not be required to attend the court proceeding to make the divorce official. Instead, this process can be done virtually.
How Do I Prove Fault for Divorce in Bethesda?
Technically, you do not have to prove fault for divorce in Bethesda. The court can still approve the divorce even if there is no fault, just as long as there is mutual consent or if one party deserted the other for at least 12 months without sexual contact.
That said, the presence of fault can influence a judge’s decision regarding certain issues such as alimony or child custody. That is one of the reasons it may be necessary to establish fault. For example, if one spouse was physically abusive towards the other (and the child(ren) as well), the court could deny them custody.
How Are Assets Divided in a Divorce in Maryland?
Maryland is an equitable distribution state, meaning the court does not need to divide the property and assets equally between the spouses during divorce. Rather, the court distributes the assets in a way it considers fair enough. However, unless there is a reason to rule otherwise, most courts in Maryland will award each spouse a fair share of the marital assets.
How a Bethesda Divorce Lawyer From Divorce With a Plan Can Help You
Before filing for divorce in Bethesda, MD, it is important to consult an experienced attorney from Divorce With a Plan.
Our attorney will review your case and help you understand your options. By now, you probably understand how complex the divorce process can be, especially when you file without an attorney. The mountains of paperwork aside, you need to know every single rule that applies to your specific situation. Failure to abide by these rules could jeopardize the divorce process.
Our attorneys can help you devise a plan that suits your case. Doing so significantly improves your chances of filing a successful divorce and addressing sensitive topics such as alimony, child support, custody, property division, etc.
Contact Divorce With a Plan Today to Get in Touch Regarding Your Case
We are always open Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM to help clients like you navigate complex divorce processes in Bethesda, MD. Contact us here or send us an email at [email protected] to schedule a consultation.