Family Law

Family Law FAQs

Going through a divorce can be extremely stressful, and you may have many questions. We understand what a bewildering time this can be. The family law attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A., has been helping Maryland residents settle divorces for years. Our extensive track record and experience mean that we have the answers that you seek.

Family Law

How Much Will A Maryland Divorce Attorney Charge Me to File for Divorce?

The Court has authority to grant a party attorney’s fees in actions involving a divorce, custody, visitation, and/or child support. In order to obtain an award of attorney’s fees a party must prove a need for the award, the ability of the other party to pay the award, and whether there was a substantial justification for bringing the action.

As with alimony, there is no calculator to draw upon to determine these awards. Counsel Fees are awarded by the Court on a discretionary basis, meaning the Court has wide power to do what they think is fair.

What are reasons not to get a separation agreement during a divorce in Maryland?

A variety of new terms are likely infiltrating your vocabulary if you are considering a divorce in Maryland. For example, you may be hearing the words “separation agreement” thrown around for the first time in your life. Deciding if you should file a separation agreement can be difficult, and here, a lawyer discusses a few reasons why you may not need this type of documentation.

If You Don’t Have Any Children

One of the biggest reasons people draft Maryland separation agreements is to document custody of their child and the terms of child support. If you and your spouse do not have any children, you may not need to file a separation agreement.

If You Don’t Have Real Estate Together

If you and your ex didn’t buy real estate together, or don’t have both names on your home or other property, a separation agreement may not be needed. The terms of this division of property is often documented in the agreement. Therefore, if you don’t have issues such as these to consider, you likely don’t need the agreement.

If You Lack Shared Debt

When you and your ex have shared debt, a separation agreement states the terms of the repayment. If you are void of any debt, you may not need this document.

The lawyers of Jimeno & Gray, P.A., can help you determine if you need a separation agreement as part of your divorce in Maryland. We have helped many who are in the same situation as you. Give us a call at (410) 590-9401.

Request your free copy of the book What Your Spouse Doesn’t Want You to Know: The Ultimate Guide to Divorce in Maryland, written by Maryland separation attorney Frank C. Gray, Jr., when you call.

How long must my spouse and I be separated if we both voluntarily seek a Maryland divorce?

When you and your spouse voluntarily seek a Maryland divorce, you must be separated for 1 year before you can file for divorce. Maryland courts are quite specific on the rules associated with a separation and require you and your spouse to live in separate residences and not engage in sexual intercourse with one another throughout the entire period.

To make sure you don’t lose precious time when seeking your Maryland divorce, you may want assistance from a Glen Burnie divorce attorney. Your attorney can help establish your separation in Maryland and provide guidance throughout the entire proceedings.

Separation Period for a Maryland Divorce

Your Glen Burnie divorce attorney will tell you that the time period in which you must be separated depends on the grounds for your Maryland divorce.

It’s important to understand the differences andmake sure your Maryland divorce doesn’t fall into one of the following categories:

  • Constructive desertion, desertion, voluntary separation, or conviction of a felony – your separation in Maryland has to be a minimum of 1 year.
  • Adultery or abuse – you can file for your Maryland divorce at any time after you and your spouse have separated.
  • 2-year separation basis – (when you and your spouse do not voluntarily separate or draft a separation agreement) your separation in Maryland must be 2 years.

Once you’ve fulfilled your separation in Maryland, it may take a couple of weeks or more than a year for Maryland divorce proceedings to conclude. To make sure that your legal rights are preserved throughout the process, you should consult with a knowledgeable Glen Burnie divorce attorney. Your attorney will guide you through complex issues such as child support, child custody, alimony, and property division.

Contacting a Glen Burnie Divorce Attorney

The Maryland family law attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A., understand the nuances of divorce, child custody and alimony in Maryland. Our Glen Burnie divorce attorney team is ready to help you with your family law needs. Contact us todayfor a consultation – 410-590-9401.

How long is the mandatory separation period if my spouse doesn’t want a divorce in Maryland?

When you and your spouse do not mutually agree on the issue of filing for divorce in Maryland, you must both undergo a 2-year separation. While you don’t actually have to get official legal documents to legitimize your separation in Maryland, you and your soon-to-be-ex cannot live in the same residence nor have sexual intercourse throughout the entire separation.

When you and your spouse can come to terms together that you both want to split, (either via oral or written agreement) the separation in Maryland must only last 1 year before you can begin divorce proceedings.

Filing for divorce in Maryland is a huge undertaking, when you consider you may have to wait up to 2 years before you even have grounds to start the process. With this in mind, you may want to seek help from a Glen Burnie divorce attorney as soon as you make the decision that filing for divorce in Maryland is in your best interests.

If undergoing the separation in Maryland seems too daunting, you do have the option to pursue what is known as a limited divorce; however, your Glen Burnie divorce attorney will advise you this may not be in your best interests.

While a limited divorce can grant you much-needed financial relief or resolve child support and alimony concerns, it doesn’t allow you to get remarried and if you pursue another relationship while in a limited divorce, you’ll be considered to have committed adultery, something that can seriously hinder your case when filing for divorce in Maryland.

When you’ve made the decision to seek a separation in Maryland for the purpose of filing for divorce, a Glen Burnie divorce attorney can help you make sense of the state’s laws and their many implications.

Contacting a Glen Burnie Divorce Attorney

The Glen Burnie divorce attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A., understand the nuances of divorce, child custody and alimony in Maryland. Our Glen Burnie divorce attorney team is ready to help you with your family law needs. Contact us today for consultation – 410-590-9401.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Anne Arundel County if my case is contested?

Once you have filed for an absolute divorce in Anne Arundel County, there is a court process that you will go through to obtain your final divorce decree. After your spouse has been served with the complaint for the divorce there is a specific time period for filing an answer to the complaint. After the answer is filed, the case will be set in for a Scheduling Conference with the Court to schedule other court appearances and deadlines. The second court appearance is usually for a Settlement Conference, where the parties try to resolve the matter with the assistance of a judge or master. If the case is still contested, the parties will be given a trial date. The goal for the court is that the case be completed within a year. If the parties are unable to resolve their matter, the case will likely take approximately a year to be completed. What this means is not only have most people been separated for a year before filing fo an absolute divorce, but it may take up to another year to complete the court process and obtain an absolute divorce from the court.

Every case is different, therefore, different services may be available through the court to expedite your matter. It would be in your best interest to speak with a Glen Burnie divorce lawyer to get a better explanation of what services are available and how long your case may take to be completed.

The Glen Burnie divorce attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A., understand the nuances of the court process in Maryland. Our Glen Burnie divorce attorney team is ready to help you with your family law needs. Contact us today for consultation – 410-590-9401.

How can the Court change custody in my case after the Court passed an Order?

Even if the Court has already issued a final Order in a custody case, the Court always maintains jurisdiction over the children to modify its own Order. But, for the Court to take another look a child’s situation, a parent must allege that something significant has changed in the child’s life or one of the parent’s lives. The purpose of the requirement that something substantial change before a Court will re-examine a custody or visitation Order is to prevent parents from asking the Court to revisit their cases just because they do not like the original outcome.