Maryland Lawyers Handle Full Range Of Family Law Matters
At Haspel & McLeod, P.C., our knowledgeable attorneys handle a wide range of family law matters, encompassing all facets of spousal and parent-child relationships. They provide skilled services in drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements as well as separation agreements to resolve financial and parenting issue when spouses go their separate ways. As compassionate counselors, they strive whenever possible to employ alternatives to litigation in protecting our clients’ rights and interests. No matter the urgency or complexity of your family law matter, you can trust our team to apply our deep experience toward obtaining the best possible results.
Drafting Marital Agreements That Preserve Your Rights
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are designed principally to protect spouses’ property rights in the event that the marriage comes to an end. These contracts can not only control the division of assets and debts but also specify alimony terms, life insurance distributions and other directions concerning finances. Prenups are typically used when one spouse comes to the marriage with large assets that are sought to be kept from the other. Postnups are commonly entered when circumstance arise that were not contemplated by the spouses, such as a drastic change in one spouse’s health or earning capacity. In order for a prenup or a postnup to be enforceable, the parties must establish that it was fair and was not the product of fraud, duress, coercion, mistake, undue influence or incompetence. Our skilled family law attorneys have experience in drafting agreements that comply with local law and in defending these agreements against challenges.
Dealing With Divorce And Separation
In Maryland, there are fault and no-fault grounds for obtaining a divorce. A no-fault divorce may be based on a one-year separation of the spouses or, in certain cases, on mutual consent. Fault grounds include adultery, desertion and cruelty or excessively vicious conduct. Divorce proceedings can be amicable or adversarial, and litigation may be needed to settle contests over alimony, child support, child custody, parenting plans and allocation of assets and debts. Our lawyers work with our clients to avert contentious divorces through settlement agreements and through alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Seeing To All Child Support And Child Custody Concerns
Maryland law places responsibility for child support on both parents based on their relative ability to pay. The state favors parents sharing child custody after a separation or divorce. Whenever possible, our attorneys help our clients negotiate agreements that govern these important parenting responsibilities, but they also use all available legal remedies needed to enforce our clients’ rights. They stand ready to assist with:
- Child custody: There are two types of child custody – physical and legal. The first concerns the child’s residence and day-to-day activities. The second controls participation in important decisions relating to the child’s health, education, religion, cultural exposure and general well-being. Legal custody is normally shared, while physical custody may be assigned primarily to one parent or shared. In deciding on custody, courts take into account a host of factors related to what will be in the best interests of the children. Among those factors are the child’s relationship with each parent and any history of abuse.
- Parenting time sharing plans: Customized time-sharing plans can help ensure that parents get to spend quality time with their children. We can help fashion a workable plan specifying such details as how holidays are shared or alternated, how vacation time is spent, how child exchanges are handled and who pays for travel expenses.
- Child support: Maryland’s guidelines for child support call for applying a formula that computes the obligation of each parent according to the percentage of total family income that they contribute. The formula takes into account each parent’s income, the average number of nights the child spends with each parent, child care expenses, health insurance costs and other financial factors. The guidelines are applied unless a party can show that they would result in an injustice.
- Enforcement of orders: When a paying parent falls seriously behind in child support, the other parent can enforce the order by a number of legal means, including wage garnishments, wage assignments, contempt of court decrees and seizure of the delinquent parent’s property by writ of execution. Court enforcement is also available when a party refuses to abide by a child custody order or plan.
- Modification of orders: When a parent’s financial, health or life circumstances change, a modification of support may be appropriate. A child’s needs may also change. Increased support may be needed in the case of a child with a serious medical diagnosis, while a decrease may be appropriate if a child becomes emancipated. Child custody orders can also be modified based on circumstantial changes.
We help our clients come up with creative and agreeable solutions to custody, support and other parenting disputes, standing ready to advocate for their rights in court when a negotiated favorable outcome cannot be achieved.
Contact An Experienced Maryland Family Law Firm To Arrange Your Consultation
Our lawyers at Haspel & McLeod, P.C., represent individuals and families throughout Frederick, Montgomery and Howard counties in all types of family law matters. To schedule your initial consultation in Frederick or Rockville, call us at 301-850-7234 or contact us online.