Divorce & Separation

Overview

Deciding to get a divorce can be an overwhelming experience. Emotions naturally run high during this time of conflict. Yet still, important life decisions, for your separation or divorce, must be made to protect your property, debts, children, and overall future. Having a divorce attorney like Ms. Davis on your side can help increase your chances of prevailing and receiving what you seek to recover in your case. Ms. Davis has demonstrated excellence in Maryland and DC cases due to her strategic thinking and problem solving, ability to think about and anticipate the position and likely actions from the opposing side of the case, and she understands the law and court processes Maryland and D.C.

Divorce in Maryland

In Maryland, a divorce is referred to as an absolute divorce and is distinguishable from a limited divorce. When a judge grants an absolute divorce it means that the parties are no longer legally married.

Uncontested Divorces

For an uncontested absolute divorce, the parties must have a legally enforceable separation agreement prepared. They also must have been separated for 12 months. Due to a new divorce law that was passed in October 2015, if the parties do not have children they may obtain a divorce without being separated for 12 months. Ask about the firm’s mediation referrals if you need help resolving issues prior to having your attorney prepare a separation agreement.

Contested Divorces

When the parties do not agree on the issues to be resolved in a divorce such as splitting debts, property, and assets, alimony, retirement, custody of the children, and child support, a contested divorce is appropriate and a trial will be held. In Maryland, generally, you may get divorced based on a 12 month separation with no hope of reconciliation or you may get divorced based on adultery, cruel treatment, insanity, desertion, certain criminal convictions. The decision about whether to obtain a fault divorce—reasons other than 12 month separation—should be carefully evaluated with an attorney.

The New Law: In Maryland if you do not have children you may be able to get an expedited divorce within a few months.

Separation in Maryland

A limited divorce is granted by a court when the parties, although still legally married, no longer want to live as husband and wife. For this type of court order, the parties must be living separate and apart. A legally separated party may not remarry until he or she obtains an absolute divorce. An absolute divorce is may be granted after the parties have been separated for one year or if there is another grounds for divorce that occurred during the time they were separated, such as adultery.

This type of divorce judgment will establish an order for child custody, child support, alimony, retirement, health insurance, ownership of personal property and use and possession of the marital home, but will not decide the division of property. 12 months later the parties may obtain an absolute divorce.

Divorce in DC

In DC, a divorce can be granted based on 1 of 2 possible grounds: if the parties have been living separated and living separate and apart by mutual agreement for 6 months, or the parties have been living separate and apart involuntarily for 12 months—in other words, one party leaves the other and there was no agreement about doing so. There can be no reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Under some circumstances, a couple sharing a home may illustrate being separated by not sharing food or a bed.

Uncontested Divorces

Like in Maryland, an uncontested divorce in DC requires that there be a legally enforceable separation agreement prepared that reflects that all matters involving the marriage, including any children, have been mutually agreed upon. If you wish to obtain an uncontested divorce, but have a few issues that you can not agree upon with your spouse, mediation can help and is much less expensive than a contested divorce trial. Inquire with the firm for a list of recommended mediators if you have issues to resolve prior to having an attorney prepare your separation agreement.

Contested Divorces

If there are any issues that need to be resolved between the parties a contested divorce with a trial, is appropriate. The time in between filing for a contested divorce and trial involves determining what is in your best interests and any children you may have, developing a legal strategy to obtain what you seek, information gathering and evidence to help bolster your position, communicating with opposing counsel about a potential settlement, complying with court requirements, motions hearings with legally accurate arguments, preparing parties, witnesses, and experts for trial, and following legal, court, and evidentiary rules during trial. If you are thinking of dissolving your marriage, or contemplating a legal separation, you need a strong advocate who is knowledgeable and experienced.

For divorce or separation representation, call 202.870.3021 or email info@pdavislawfirm.com.

We take child custody cases on a case-by-case basis. If you are unable to afford legal representation for a child custody case, please consider our Custody Comfort Legal Kit that will be sold at a small fraction of the cost to hire an attorney. It will become available as soon as it is finished going through processing. For more information, click on the link below:

Be One of the First to Get Your Custody Comfort Legal Kit (2017)