Updated: Feb 15, 2019


Maryland, is finally all the way on board with No Fault divorce. Prior to October 2018, divorcing parties who had minor children in common were not able to benefit from the expedient and less costly Mutual Consent ground of divorce. Enter the Maryland General Assembly and voila – no longer are parents discriminated against when it comes to obtaining a No-Fault Divorce. As of October 2018, not only may parties with minor children in common obtain divorces on the ground of Mutual Consent, but now, only one party need appear in court!


MUTUAL CONSENT DIVORCE


Divorce does not have to be a long and drawn out process. In Maryland, when both parties are on the same page, Mutual Consent Divorce may be the best option. Filing for divorce on this ground can be relatively inexpensive, fast, and easy. In order to go this route, the spouses must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a signed settlement agreement that resolves property issues, alimony and issues related to dependent or minor children;

  • Neither party seeks to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing;

  • Attach a completed child support guidelines worksheet to the settlement agreement if the agreement includes provisions for the payment of child support;

  • The court must be satisfied that the settlement agreement is in the best interests of the minor or dependent children, if any.


12 MONTHS SEPARATION – UNCONTESTD DIVORCE


When Mutual Consent is not an appropriate ground, one party may still file for an uncontested divorce. Where the parties have led completely separate lives and have lived under separate roofs and have not had any sexual relations for a minimum of 12 months, either spouse may file for divorce on the grounds of voluntary separation or desertion.


To begin the process of filing for your divorce in Maryland, contact West Law Firm to schedule your complimentary 15-minute discovery call today.


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Updated: Feb 15, 2019

In 2018, we live in a Maury Povich world, that is, on a daily basis we are reminded that things are not always what they seem. In Maryland, a mother who is married is presumed to have created the baby with her husband. While this type of logic may have worked 100 years ago, anyone who has access to a television, a radio, the internet, or even water cooler talk knows that just because a woman claims a man fathered her child, that may not necessarily be the case. In the case of child custody and support, a mother who is seeking a support order may be faced with having to prove paternity, meanwhile, a man who is alleged to be the father but is not 100% sure of his parentage may want to determine paternity for his own peace of mind and also perhaps to eliminate the need to pay support for a child whom he may not have fathered.


In Maryland, at the time of birth, or shortly thereafter, the alleged father may voluntarily sign a form called an Affidavit of Parentage attesting to being the father of the child in question. This document may be rescinded within 60 days after the last party signed by executing a Rescission Form for Affidavit of Parentage. Once 60 days have elapsed, nullifying the Affidavit of Parentage is mostly a losing battle. Absent a showing of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, striking the “father’s” name from the certificate is nearly impossible. Therefore, a man who is not 100% sure that he fathered the child in question should not sign an Affidavit of Parentage prior to consulting an attorney.


Proving Paternity


Where an Affidavit of Parentage has not been signed and paternity is in question, the courts may order genetic testing. Testing is completed in the form of a quick swab of the cheeks of the mother, child and alleged father and the results are determined within 4-6 weeks. In Maryland, the DNA laboratory results must show that there is a 97.3% statistical chance that the alleged father is the father. If the father still denies paternity after receiving the results of the testing, the results may be used as evidence in a trial where the courts will pass an order establishing paternity and child support.

Establishing paternity is key to child support and custody issues of course, but, it also allows the child the benefit of definitively knowing who his father is, developing a relationship with his father and father’s family, obtaining medical information and health insurance and it also allows the child to be considered an heir at the time of the father’s death.


Paternity is a complicated legal issue that often requires competent legal assistance. Before signing any documents or if documents have already been signed but paternity is now in question, contact West Law Firm to discuss your options.

Updated: Feb 15, 2019

Five Signs Your Marriage Is Over

Once upon a time you were happy. You were in love. You were able to clearly see a future where you and the love of your life lived happily ever after. Now you are at  point in your relationship where you find yourself living with a stranger. Who is this person who promised to love and cherish you until the end of time?

It’s unfortunate, but, 60 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Sixty.Percent. Clearly you are not alone and you should feel no shame about ending your marriage. How do you truly know when it is time to cut your loses and move on with your life?

Here are five ways to know it may be time to file for divorce


1. Me Me Me Me Me

There is no “I” in team but there is an “m” and “e” and you are ok with that. Over time you have gone from desiring to build a life together to being solely concerned with your own well-being. In a healthy relationship, a couple works as a team on issues such as parenting, running a household and supporting one another. As a marriage nears dissolution, one, or both partners inch away from team building and closer towards self-sufficiency.


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2. You feel alone even when you are together

At one time, you were each the center of one another’s world. You felt as though you mattered. Now, even when you are sharing the same space, you feel as though you are not only alone, but, you often feel lonely.


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3. You are having sex, just not with each other

Although infidelity does not have to mean the end of a marriage, sexual relations with persons outside of the marriage are a good sign that divorce could be on the horizon. Not only is this behavior disrespectful to your relationship, but, it is disrespectful your body. When your partner sleeps with another person and then returns to the marital bed, returning to that bed is also the object of the affair and everyone s/he has ever slept with. If you are going to sleep with that many people, you may as well be single and enjoy it.


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4. Communication is key, but the locks have been changed

You don’t talk the way you used to talk. Everything you say has the potential to turn into an argument, so much so that you are figuratively walking on eggshells to avoid the fallout. When asking about the weather turns into WWIII, it is a clear indication that you have lost the ability, and the desire, to communicate in a healthy manner. Healthy, productive, communication is necessary for a healthy relationship. Absent this key component, it may be time to move on.


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5. You find reasons not to come home

Suddenly, your social calendar takes on renewed importance and you would rather be anyplace than at home with your spouse. When one or both partners is unwilling to spend time together creating intimacy healthy marriages need, it is a clear sign the marriage is in jeopardy.


If your marriage is beyond repair, Click Here to schedule a consultation!

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West Law Firm, LLC​

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Suite 600D

Pikesville, MD 21208​
Tel: 301-798-4100
Email: info@nawestlaw.com​