Below please find some of the frequently asked questions that have come up in the practice. Please note that this information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
Yes! Maryland law just changed in 2011. If you receive a traffic ticket and you want to challenge it, the burden is on you to request a trial. You can request a trial contesting the ticket or you can request a waiver trial to ask the court to reduce the penalty. Or you can just pay the ticket. If you do nothing, your license may be suspended.
For more serious charges, you must still appear in court.
In order to get a divorce in Maryland, you need to prove one of the grounds in the Maryland Code Family Law Article 7-103. The most common is a no-fault one year separation. Other grounds include adultery, desertion for 12 months, constructive desertion, cruelty of treatment, excessively vicious conduct, insanity or one party is in jail for a long time.
The short answer is that separation is defined as not having sexual relations and not sleeping under the same roof.
The long answer is that 'legal separation' is a laymens term which means different things to different people.
Child Support in Maryland is calculated using the Child Support guidelines. These guidelines take the parties monthly incomes and current custody arrangements to determine the amount that is presumed to be correct. This figure is adjusted based on health insurance, medical expenses, daycare expenses, and alimony or other child support payments. The Courts can choose a different figure, but they must explain the circumstances which justify deviated from the guidelines.
Legal custody is the power to make big decisions for your minor child such as what school they should attend, whether they should get an elective surgery or whether they should see a therapist or not.
Physical custody is where your minor child is physically present at various times. It can be called joint custody, sole physical custody with visitation to the other parent, shared custody, etc. In the end, it boils down to where your minor child spends the night.
In Maryland, custody and child support orders can always be modified. There needs to be a material change in circumstance since the previous order was entered into (ie: a move, a remarriage, job change, etc.). You will also need to show that the change that you are requesting is in the best interests of your child. To request a change in the custody or child support order, you will need to file a petition with the Court.
Probably. A will allows you to control who will administer your estate and where your assets will go. If you decline to make these decisions, the state will be happy to make them for you. If you have minor children, it is very important that you make a will. Maryland law allows you to name the legal guardian for your children in the event of your death. Without a will, your loved ones could face the trouble and expenses of getting a legal guardianship over your children not to mention a potential custody dispute.
If you do not have a will, your estate will be considered "intestate" and will have to go through the probate process. Generally speaking, your estate will be split between your spouse and your children. If you have no children, it will pass to your grandchildren and their lines of descent. If you have no surviving descendants, it will pass to your siblings and their children. If you have no surviving close relatives, it will pass to your cousins and their children. If there is still no one able to take your estate, it will go to the school board for the county.
Probably! If you have a pending case at the District Court for Anne Arundel County at either the Glen Burnie courthouse or the Annapolis courthouse, give me a call. The sooner you call, the better.
Review the documents that you were served with carefully. In Civil litigation you generally have 30 days to file an Answer with the Court. If you don't file an Answer, you may lose the case by default. If you are served with a Maryland lawsuit in another state and you live in another state, you have 60 days to file an Answer. If you are served with a Maryland lawsuit outside of the country and you live in another country, you have 90 days to file an Answer. There are other variations as well. The worst thing you can do is ignore it!
I sure can. I am familiar with the military lifestyle and the scheduling conflicts that can emerge. I am familiar with the laws designed to protect servicemembers and I can help you navigate the legal system.
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