Attempting to navigate a divorce or custody battle may be a stressful and emotional experience. While you may feel overwhelmed, you should also feel confident knowing that when you choose our experienced divorce and family law attorneys at Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein & Bouquet, you have a team that will tirelessly fight for your rights and advocate for your needs.
We understand Maryland’s domestic relations law and how the court system works. Our goal is to help successfully resolve your family law case in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.
When you put your trust in us, you will find we take an assertive approach when needed and are always prepared to handle any challenge. You can feel confident we are your fierce advocate and that we will work to help you secure a favorable outcome.
Let Us Help with Your Family Law Matter
Attempting to navigate family law issues can be complex and emotionally draining. However, you are not alone.
At Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein & Bouquet, we stand by your side, providing expert advice and representation in various family law matters. Below are some of the key areas we specialize in:
Whether it’s a contested or uncontested divorce, the end of a marriage comes with its own set of challenges. However, when you understand the basics, it can make a significant difference.
Filing for divorce begins by submitting the appropriate paperwork to your county Circuit Court. One party must have lived in Maryland for at least six months before filing. After the initial filing, the other spouse is served with divorce papers and has a specific time to respond.
Property division, child custody, and spousal support are key issues that will be addressed either through negotiation between parties or decided by the court.
Child Custody and Visitation
We understand that the well-being of your children is your top priority. Child custody battles can be particularly stressful. We focus on creating a strategy that serves the best interests of your children, whether it involves joint custody, sole custody, or specific visitation schedules.
In Maryland, child custody is categorized into two main types: legal and physical. Legal custody pertains to decision-making authority for the child’s welfare, such as education and healthcare. Physical custody involves the child’s living arrangements.
Courts in Maryland prioritize the child’s best interests when determining custody arrangements. Factors considered include the child’s age, emotional ties to each parent, the parent’s ability to communicate and work together, and each parent’s physical and mental well-being.
Visitation rights are generally granted to the non-custodial parent, and the specifics vary widely—from weekends and holidays to extended summer breaks.
Child support agreements need to be fair and sustainable for both parties involved. They should also ensure the child’s financial well-being after a separation or divorce. The state employs a set of guidelines to calculate child support, considering factors such as the parents’ incomes, the number of children, and the cost of healthcare and childcare.
Both parents are considered obligated for financially supporting their child, but the non-custodial parent typically makes the child support payments. Each parent’s time with the child will also likely impact the child support calculation. Payments generally continue until the child reaches the age of 18, or until the age of 19 if still in high school..
Failure to make timely child support payments may result in serious consequences, including legal proceedings. Therefore, it’s vital to handle child support matters carefully. You should also fully understand your obligations and rights.
Spousal Support and Alimony
In Maryland, spousal support, otherwise known as alimony, is a financial payment made from one spouse to the other either during the separation period, during the divorce process, or after the divorce has been finalized. These payments are meant to help the lesser-earning spouse maintain a certain standard of living or become financially self-sufficient.
Maryland has different types of alimony, including temporary, rehabilitative, and indefinite alimony. Temporary alimony is typically granted during the divorce process and ends once the divorce is finalized.
Rehabilitative alimony is for a fixed period, allowing the receiving spouse time to gain employment or further his/her education. Indefinite alimony may be awarded in rare cases when the receiving spouse cannot become self-supporting due to such issues as age or disability.
The court considers various factors when determining alimony, such as the length of the marriage, the financial contributions of each party, the needs and financial resources of each spouse, and the ability of the paying spouse to meet his/her needs while supporting the other.
Property and Asset Division
Dividing property and assets during a divorce in Maryland can be a complex and often contentious issue. The state follows an “equitable distribution” model, meaning that marital property is divided in a fair manner but not necessarily equal.
It is crucial to understand the difference between marital and non-marital property. Non-marital property refers to assets owned before marriage, acquired through inheritance or gifts specifically to one spouse, or property excluded by agreement of the parties. Marital property generally includes assets acquired during the marriage that are not directly traceable to non-marital propety. Only marital property is subject to division or determination of a monetary award in a divorce.
Factors like the contributions of each spouse to the family’s well-being, the economic circumstances of each party, the duration of the marriage, and the age and health of both spouses are considered during the property and asset disposition process. High-value assets like real estate, retirement accounts, and business interests may complicate the division process.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal contracts that outline how assets and debts will be divided between spouses in the event of a divorce or separation. While the topic may not be romantic, these agreements serve as practical tools for financial planning and may streamline the divorce process, should it occur.
A prenuptial agreement is entered into before the marriage, while a postnuptial agreement is made after the couple has already wed. Both agreements may cover various financial topics, including property division, spousal support, and even how to handle future earnings or business ventures.
In Maryland, for these agreements to be enforceable, they must meet certain criteria. For example, both parties must fully disclose their assets and debts. It is also more likely that an agreement will be deemed enforceable if each party has his/her own legal representation. The agreement must be entered into voluntarily and without any duress or unfair pressure. It should also be fair and equitable to both parties when signing.
Domestic Violence and Protective Orders
Domestic violence is a critical issue that requires immediate attention and action. The law provides various forms of relief for victims, including protective and peace orders. These legal tools restrict the abusive partner from engaging in further harmful behaviors, including physical abuse, stalking, and harassment.
A protective order is specifically designed for individuals in a domestic relationship, such as spouses, cohabitants, or individuals related by blood or marriage. A similar peace order applies to individuals who do not share a domestic relationship.
The process for obtaining a protective or peace order involves multiple steps. Initially, a temporary order may be granted based on a petitioner’s testimony, followed by a final hearing where both parties present evidence. Depending on the severity and circumstances, these orders can mandate the abuser to refrain from contact, vacate a shared residence, or surrender firearms, among other relief.
Violating a protective or peace order is a criminal offense that may result in arrest and further legal ramifications. Given the urgency and sensitivity of domestic violence cases, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney immediately.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that allows couples to address and resolve family law issues outside of a traditional court setting. Mediation may be used for many family law issues, including divorce, child custody, spousal support, and property division.
The process involves a neutral third-party mediator facilitating discussions between the two parties to reach a mutually agreeable solution. The mediator doesn’t make decisions but helps guide the conversation and ensure that both parties may express their views.
Mediation can offer several benefits over traditional litigation, such as reduced legal costs, quicker resolution, and less emotional stress. Additionally, the cooperative nature of mediation often results in more amicable relationships between parties, which is especially beneficial when children are involved.
It’s important to note that while mediation may be a powerful tool, it is not suitable for every case, especially those involving domestic violence or severe power imbalances between the parties.
For a successful mediation, legal representation is still advised. At Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein & Bouquet, we offer expert mediation services that aim to make the process as smooth and effective as possible. We also may assist behind the scenes to guide you in the right direction.
Who We Are
We’re more than just a law firm; we’re your advocates and partners in navigating the intricate world of divorce and family law. With years of experience in Maryland law, we provide you with the representation you deserve. With a client-first approach, we offer personalized service tailored to your needs.
When you choose us to represent your interests in your divorce or another family law matter, you will gain the experience, knowledge, and guidance of our decades of practice offer. We also offer:
Expertise in Various Aspects of Family Law
We cover the entire spectrum of family law issues—from divorce, alimony, and property division to child custody and support. No matter what challenge you’re facing, we have dealt with it before and know how to find the best path forward.
We know that your case doesn’t stop when our office hours do. That’s why we maintain open lines of communication to ensure you’re updated every step of the way.
Why Choose Us
Are you still unsure if our law firm meets your unique needs? When you choose us, our attorneys provide all the benefits you need for a positive experience. You will receive the following:
Track Record of Success
Our years of experience and countless successful cases demonstrate our proficiency in the field. You’re not just another case file to us; you’re a person with real struggles, and we treat you as such.
Nobody likes hidden costs, especially when going through something as financially straining as a divorce. We practice transparent billing so you can plan your finances better.
Tailored Legal Solutions
Your situation is unique, and so should be your legal strategy. We customize our legal solutions to fit your specific circumstances, ensuring the best possible outcome for you.
Your Next Step
The road ahead may be tough, but you don’t have to walk alone. Let us carry some of that burden for you. Contact Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein & Bouquet today and take the first step toward resolving your family law issues. We’re here to help.
We Can Help with Your Maryland Divorce and Family Law Needs
Don’t let legal uncertainties add to your stress. Contact us for a consultation and take the first step towards regaining control of your life.
Remember, you’re not just hiring a law firm; you’re partnering with advocates who will stand by you through thick and thin. Trust us to guide you through this complex terrain, empowering you to make informed decisions about your future. We look forward to working with you.