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Frequently Asked Questions: Maryland Divorce Law

Answers from a knowledgeable Rockville attorney

The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott believes that clients must be empowered to make informed choices. Ms. Talbott spends a great deal of time in her practice educating clients about the law and how it applies to their specific circumstances. Here are just a few of the pressing issues that accompany the division of marital property in a Maryland divorce.

For further information, contact a reliable MD divorce attorney

To discuss your concerns regarding Maryland divorce, call The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott at 301-637-8527 or contact the firm online.

What are the grounds for a divorce in Maryland?

Grounds for divorce in Maryland include adultery, cruelty to you or your minor child, excessively vicious conduct, desertion, conviction for a felony crime and insanity.

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What evidence is needed to prove adultery?

Adultery occurs when a married person has sexual intercourse outside of marriage. While it’s difficult to obtain direct proof of such an act, the court will accept strong indirect proof or circumstantial evidence. Two elements must be satisfied to present indirect proof: the evidence must show the opportunity to commit adultery, meaning your spouse and another person were in a place together where sexual intercourse could have occurred, and the inclination of your spouse to commit adultery. The inclination can be demonstrated by proof of affection through a public display or private communications.

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How does child support work in Maryland?

Child support is paid by a noncustodial parent to a custodial parent for the maintenance of their children. Some form of payment is required except in cases of a 50/50 sharing of physical custody. Maryland has state guidelines for calculating child support. These guidelines take into consideration the actual or potential income of each parent, the difference in the parents’ earnings, nonmonetary contributions to the household, expenses such as day care and health insurance and the degree to which the noncustodial parent provides shelter for the children.

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How is child custody determined in Maryland?

Custody is divided into two categories: physical and legal. A parent with physical custody provides the child with a residence and provisions on which to live. A parent with legal custody is responsible for making decisions for the child’s welfare. Each form of custody can be joint (shared between the parents) or sole (exclusive to one parent). It is possible to share one form of custody and be denied the other. Maryland family court decides custody matters based upon its view of the best interests of the child. The court values stability in the lives of the children and will look at past patterns of parenting. If one parent has clearly been the custodial parent and the other has been passive or absent, the court will favor the involved parent as custodian and decision-maker. If past patterns indicate custody has been shared, the court will favor a plan that continues that arrangement.

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How is alimony decided in Maryland?

Alimony in Maryland covers three stages of divorce. Pendente lite alimony is meant to maintain the dependent spouse in the manner in which he or she has been accustomed in the time period from separation to divorce. Rehabilitative alimony follows divorce and continues while the dependent spouse attempts to become self-sufficient. Indefinite alimony may be awarded if, in the view of the court, the dependent spouse cannot become self-sufficient or, having become self-sufficient, still suffers an unconscionable financial disparity as a result of the divorce.

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How does collaborative divorce in Maryland work for complex marital estates?

In our Maryland collaborative divorce practice, we use certified divorce financial planners and business valuators to help develop budgets and support plans and to maximize tax savings and resources. These professionals draw on knowledge and years of experience with Maryland divorce to present workable plans for equitable distribution of marital assets.

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Is collaborative divorce in Maryland in the best interest of my children?

In our collaborative divorce practice, we employ mental health professionals as coaches. They are experts in child development and help structure age-appropriate parenting plans. The coaches can also assist you and your spouse through emotional roadblocks that interfere with productive negotiation. The better you handle your divorce, the easier it will be for your children to adjust.

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