Rockville Maryland Divorce Lawyer
No one goes into a marriage believing it will end in divorce court, yet nearly 10 percent of marriages in Maryland end in divorce. If you and your spouse have come to the decision that divorce is inevitable, it’s time to start working on a plan to protect your future and move forward with your new goals. An experienced Maryland divorce lawyer can help you take those critical first steps toward your family’s future by learning the details of your unique situation and informing you of the options available to move you toward your goals with clear, precise action. The Rockville law firm of Shah & Kishore has over 30 years of experience seeking the best possible outcomes for our clients and giving them our full attention to accomplish their goals with the least amount of contention and expense.
If you’re ready to take the first important steps toward the best resolution for your unique family situation, the Rockville Maryland firm of Shah & Kishore is ready to work toward achieving the most amicable resolution in your divorce case. But first, some basic information about divorce in Maryland may help you understand the process and begin setting those goals for your family.
Why Hire Shah & Kishore?
For the last 30 years, Shah & Kishore have provided high-quality representation in all family law matters. Our divorce lawyer has:
- Experience in real estate investment and small business matters
- History of successful and aggressive litigation
- Credentials that include a BS in Economics and Finance and an MBA
At Shah & Kishore, our experienced divorce lawyers in Rockville, Maryland, can represent spouses on a wide range of complicated family law matters, including:
- Division of property
- Child custody and support
- Domestic violence
- Move away and child relocations
- Parenting plan modifications
We work hard to find the best solutions for our clients’ unique family matters. We can also help on matters of paternity, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and modifying your parenting plan.
How Long Does Divorce Take in Maryland?
One of the first questions most individuals facing a divorce in Maryland asks is, “How long will it take?” Understandably, they want the process over with quickly so they can move forward. But the answer to that question has many variables. The length it takes to complete a divorce in Maryland depends on the following:
- If your case qualifies as a mutual consent divorce
- If the mandatory waiting period applies to your case
- If you and your spouse agree or disagree on the separation of marital assets
- If you and your spouse agree or disagree about custody and child support arrangements
- The number of records and documents you and your lawyer need to gather before negotiations or a trial
- What type of divorce complaint you’re filing
- How contentious you and your spouse are over the details of assets and custody
Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, a divorce could take as little as 90 days or up to two years to finalize as an absolute divorce.
Why Are There Two Types of Divorces in Maryland?
As well as ending a personal alliance between romantic partners, a divorce decree in Maryland ends a civil contract between individuals. When most people talk about divorce, they’re referring to an absolute divorce which completely ends their legal relationship so both are free to marry others and any assets and debts they accumulate after the divorce are theirs alone. However, to obtain an absolute divorce in Maryland, you must show that you have grounds for divorce. Grounds are divided into two types:
- No-Fault Grounds for divorce in Maryland require either a 12-month separation — without cohabitation or sexual relations — or mutual consent, meaning both parties agree to divorce with no waiting period
- A Fault-based divorce in Maryland does not require a 12-month separation but requires proof of the following grounds: Adultery, desertion, cruelty or excessively vicious conduct, conviction of a crime, or incurable insanity. A person may choose to file a fault-based divorce because it may provide grounds for alimony. In cases where the fault also has a harmful impact on children, a fault-based divorce could impact child custody and visitation.
Because it may be difficult to prove some of the above grounds for a fault-based divorce and the other party and their attorney may have a defense in place to refute the grounds you allege, the court offers another type of divorce as a temporary solution to the problem of waiting for resolution in your fault-based divorce case or waiting the 12 months required for a no-fault divorce. The solution may be to file for a limited divorce while you wait.
What is a Limited Divorce?
In Maryland, a limited divorce is similar to what many other states call a legal separation. One party may file for a limited divorce based on separation as soon as they begin separate living arrangements. They may also file for a limited divorce on grounds of desertion or cruel treatment.
A limited divorce does not permanently end the marriage or sever legal ties. Instead, you remain legally married but live apart from one another. During a limited divorce, you may not remarry. While you remain married, a limited divorce provides relief for situations that cannot wait 12 months or more for the resolution of the absolute divorce by settling matters such as:
- Child custody arrangements
- Child support
- Spousal support (Alimony)
- Property division
- Legal fees
- Orders for maintaining health insurance coverage until the absolute divorce.
In many cases, couples opt for a limited divorce when:
- They lack the grounds for an absolute divorce
- There are financial matters that an absolute divorce may hurt
For a judge to grant a limited divorce, the couple must meet certain criteria.
It’s important to remember that all assets one party accumulates during a limited divorce are still considered marital assets and are subject to division during the absolute divorce process. A filed complaint for a limited divorce does begin the 12-month waiting period for an absolute divorce but if the parties resume cohabitation even temporarily or have sex together it restarts the clock for the 12-month waiting period.
In many cases, filing for a limited divorce helps to speed up the process of finalizing an absolute divorce after the 12-month period expires because the issues of property division, child support, and custody are already resolved and may not require relitigation.
Do Both Parties Need a Lawyer in a Maryland Divorce?
Because Maryland is not a no-fault divorce state, navigating the complex aspects of family law related to divorce can be very challenging. Unless you and your spouse can agree on absolutely everything from dividing every asset to a workable custody schedule and child support amount, you should absolutely have a lawyer to protect your interests. Lawyers fight aggressively on behalf of their clients. If one spouse has a lawyer and the other does not, the process becomes skewed and the results unfair.
Unrepresented spouses are frequently taken advantage of in divorce proceedings. Divorces involve a series of complex decisions that have long-term financial and personal implications. Given the high emotional stakes, even amicably separating couples may unintentionally hurt themselves in the end.
A divorce lawyer can help you:
- Protect your best interests
- Find creative solutions for your goals and desires
- Protect your financial future
- Handle communication with your spouse
- Reduce the emotional fallout
- Look after your children’s best interests
- Handle the extensive paperwork
Working with an experienced divorce attorney will enable you to deal with the process more efficiently and protect you from making mistakes that can haunt you for the rest of your life.
Resolutions regarding child custody, property, assets, alimony amounts, and child support absolutely should not be mediated without the help of a trustworthy lawyer fighting for your rights and demands.
Why Choose Shah & Kishore for Your Maryland Divorce?
Here at Shah & Kishore, we’ve gathered over 30 years of case experience so we offer each new client access to a deep understanding of Maryland family law and how it applies to every unique case. Divorce is stressful, and helping our clients resolve their divorce as amicably as possible in a timely and cost-effective manner is our passion. Our firm not only offers deep resources of knowledge and insight into Maryland’s divorce laws, but Mr. Kishore’s background in business and finance means he can handle all aspects of a divorce case with a high rate of success and satisfaction from our clients.
Call or contact the Rockville Maryland Divorce Lawyers at Shah & Kishore today for a free consultation so you can learn how we can help you with your divorce complaint.