In most cases, marriage dissolution is an expensive and emotionally draining process that affects spouses, children, grandparents, and everyone else in the family. Many states have protracted and complex divorce processes that make this pain worse. Fortunately, Maryland has one of the most streamlined procedures in the country, allowing all parties involved to get on with life. One order usually covers marriage dissolution, child custody, property division, spousal support, and all other issues.
Our compassionate attorneys understand the needs of families during this trying time. At West Law Firm, we work diligently to achieve lasting solutions that uphold our clients’ rights and are in the best interests of the children. Furthermore, as financial needs change overtime we also handle divorce modifications.
At first, most people believe that mediation will be a waste of time. But over 70 percent of the time, mediation resolves most or all the issues without trial. Fewer hours spent on a case means both parties end up incurring fewer legal fees. In addition to the cost savings, mediation often sets the stage for effective co-parenting and a better post-divorce relationship. And, especially when there are children involved, it is important that divorcing spouses are able to remain friendly whenever possible to allow for the rapid adjustment to post divorce live.
Child custody and Visitation
A workable and fair parenting time arrangement is sometimes the most important component of a divorce case. Although joint custody is common in Maryland, there is no legal presumption in favor of this arrangement. Families have the flexibility to design plans that are well-suited for their needs, as long as these plans uphold the best interests of the children.
West Law Firm attorneys understand that any child custody arrangement must be equitable to both sides, in conformity with the law, and simple enough to work well over time. We do not stop working until we achieve that balance, which sets us apart from some of the other Maryland Matrimonial firms.
As an income share state, Maryland judges consider the incomes of both spouses before assigning a child support obligation to the non-custodial parent. Like most other jurisdictions, the Old Line State has guideline amounts based on income, the number of children, and a few other relevant factors. Also like many other states, Maryland child support obligations end when the children turn eighteen, in most cases.
Fundamentally, child support payment ensures that the children are not punished because their parents get divorced. That’s an outcome that everyone can agree on. While working toward that goal, we never sacrifice our clients’ financial rights. Child support is for the children. It is not a penalty that the obligor must pay or a subsidy for the obligee.
In general, spousal support is a balance between the obligor spouse’s ability to pay and the obligee spouse’s economic need. That need could be a short-term cash crunch while the case is pending, a mid-term requirement for school tuition and similar needs, or a long-term solution for a permanent income inequality. In all these cases, both spouses have legal and financial rights.
Maryland judges only award alimony to married spouses who request it. Ex-boyfriends do not have a duty to support their ex-girlfriends regardless of the circumstances, and spousal support is not automatic. Working with our clients, West Law Firm attorneys develop a winning approach to the issue of alimony that provides cost-effective solutions.
No-fault divorce is an excellent option in some situations, because this procedure removes some of the acrimony from an inherently acrimonious process. Instead of airing their “dirty laundry” for everyone to see, the spouses can simply go their separate ways. Even if they disagree on issues like spousal support or property division, an uncontested divorce can resolve them, often with the help of mediation. In many cases, a Maryland uncontested divorce only takes a few months.
Uncontested divorce may be the path of least resistance, but no one should walk down this path alone. Whether you are the filing or non-filing spouse, West Law Firm attorneys aggressively stand up for your rights. In addition to our powerful advocacy skills, we also offer solid legal advice, so you have a strong foundation on which to build a future for you and your children.