Columbia Divorce Lawyer
Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C., helps individuals and couples navigate their way through the Maryland divorce process that best meets their needs. Our Columbia divorce lawyers represent clients throughout Maryland, but especially Howard County communities such as Columbia, Ellicott City, Fulton, Maple Lawn and Clarksville. Call our office in Columbia to discuss the circumstances surrounding your divorce, including whether you are seeking a limited or absolute divorce, whether your divorce is contested, uncontested or qualifies for a divorce by mutual consent, and to share your thoughts and concerns surrounding the custody and support of your children as well as issues such as alimony and the division of your marital property.
Limited or Absolute Divorce
A limited divorce grants spouses the right to live separate and apart from one another, but the parties remain Husband and Wife. A limited divorce may be granted by the court for religious or financial purposes or when the parties do not have the grounds for an absolute divorce. A limited divorce can be granted for a limited time or an indefinite period. The court can also revoke a limited divorce upon a joint application submitted by both parties.
The court can decide custody, support, use and possession of the home and personal property at a limited divorce hearing. The Court CANNOT divide the marital property or order the sale of jointly owned real property.
In an absolute divorce, the judge dissolves the marriage, so the parties are legally free to remarry. The court can also divide the marital property in an absolute divorce. Maryland is an equitable division state, which means that while an equal division of marital property is common, such a division is not guaranteed. The Court is free to divide marital property in an equitablemanner, based on a number of factors that the attorneys argue to the judge.
Grounds for divorce include:
- Desertion for 12 continuous months
- Separation for 12 continuous months
- Mutual Consent
- Conviction of a felony or a misdemeanor with incarceration for at least one year (under sentence of three or more years)
- Insanity with the spouse institutionalized for at least three years and the insanity is incurable
- Cruelty of treatment
- Excessively vicious conduct
If the parties file for an absolute divorce but find they don’t qualify, the court can grant a limited divorce instead, without the parties having to refile their divorce.
Contested or Uncontested Divorce
In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on getting divorced and also agree on all issues related to the marriage, such as child custody, visitation and access, child support, alimony and property division. Our attorneys help couples in uncontested divorce matters draft a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, which is a legally binding document setting out their understanding of how the issues in their divorce will be handled. The parties still need to file for absolute divorce under the applicable ground and attend a hearing before the judge to finalize the divorce, but the terms of the Separation Agreement will control matters addressed such as custody and support.
If the parties don’t agree on the reason for the divorce or are not in agreement on all the related issues, the divorce is considered contested. In this case, they’ll need to resolve their issues through mediation or collaborative practice or litigate their divorce in court before a judge. A contested divorce can be time-consuming, complicated, and expensive. When the issues are resolved, the divorce then becomes uncontested, and a final divorce may be obtained. At Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C., our goal is to represent your interests and help you find the best path forward to an uncontested divorce, without creating unnecessary conflict or fanning the flames of an already heated dispute.
High-Quality Advice and Representation in Your Columbia or Howard County Divorce
For help with divorce in Howard County, call Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C., at 410-997-0203, or reach out online to speak with one of our experienced and dedicated Columbia divorce lawyers. We represent clients throughout Maryland, but especially Howard County communities such as Columbia, Ellicott City, Fulton, Maple Lawn and Clarksville.