Maryland Family Law and Divorce Lawyers
It can be overwhelming to go through a divorce or a child custody case. Emotions are high. Everything feels like a battle. Everyone in your life seems to have an opinion, whether it’s helpful or not, family relationships are strained.
Having the right family lawyer on your side makes all the difference at this challenging time in your life. As you seek a fair and favorable outcome, an experienced Maryland family lawyer shares their knowledge of our state’s laws regarding getting divorced, property division, establishing alimony, securing child custody and visitation, getting a protective court order, and more.
What is Family Law in Maryland?
Family law encompasses a wide variety of emotionally charged family situations. Because these cases involve the separation and breakup of families, they require a thoughtful and professional approach.
Maryland family law covers:
These cases involve serious financial, legal, and mental health concerns for all family members and parties involved. Any misstep during this time can endanger your and your children’s futures. Everything you do and say is extremely important and could become part of the other side’s case against you.
This is why it’s so important to seek the services of a local family law attorney who can provide legal insight and help you skillfully navigate the ins and outs of Maryland law. Your attorney will explore all possible legal routes and recommend the best options for your unique situation.
How to Choose Your Family Law Attorney
As you select a Maryland family lawyer, ask questions about their past cases and the results they’ve secured for their clients. Do they have experience in the Maryland family court system? Do they know how to protect a parent’s rights? Will they get you a fair shot in court?
- Experience. Do they have the credentials to handle Maryland divorce, legal separation and family cases? These cases are emotionally charged and require total professionalism from start to finish. Does your lawyer have the personality and assertiveness it takes to protect you and your children?
- Results. Your attorney should be able to tell you about other cases where they have seen positive results and have successfully secured parental rights, alimony, divorce, and show they are up-to-date on current laws governing family law issues.
- Reputation. How is their reputation for family law cases? When your lawyer has a great reputation in Maryland, it makes a difference – especially if you end up in court.
At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, We care about getting to know you and giving you the best possible representation. To learn more, contact us today at 410-753-4611 to get in touch with a qualified, experienced family lawyer in Maryland.
We’ll start by providing an evaluation of your family law case entirely free of charge. We can’t change the past, but we can give you excellent representation and advocacy moving forward.
We invite you to check out our reviews from previous clients on Google and Facebook.
Because of Jana our family is whole! My husband was able to legally adopt my oldest child and just in time for the holidays!!! She made this experience such a special and heart warmer one! She updated us on our case and progress weekly and was constantly in communication with us. I can never thank her enough for all the hard work ( and paper work) she has done for my family. My son is so proud to be my husbands legal son and to be a Braxton just like his youngest brother! We all have the same last name as well and that means so much! Thank you so much Jana! We will always be grateful for all you have done! You are truly an amazing person and miracle worker!
Jana was our 4th lawyer, in a long drawn out family drama that didn’t have to be so difficult, but it was. Because certain members decided to make it so. She did not take the bait the other side laid down, and charged ahead with the letter of the law. She was great at explaining next steps and what the judge’s responses meant. And we got it done!! We are forever grateful. Thank you Jana and Zirkin law!!
Jana Poczak is an incredible attorney. She represented my interests without compromise and at the same time handled negotiations diplomatically and respectfully so that we all emerged with a desirable outcome. I highly recommend Jana and her team at Zirkin & Schmerling!
Does Maryland Have Grandparents’ Rights?
A grandparent is often heavily involved in raising a child, sometimes to the point of being the primary caretaker when the parent is otherwise busy. However, in Maryland there is no presumption of grandparents’ rights or visitation.
During a divorce or child custody case, a judge is unlikely to hear a grandparent’s desires unless one of the parents shares this information. A parent can petition the court for reasonable visitation between a grandparent and grandchild, but there is no guarantee that the court will grant it. The court will rule in favor of the best interests of the child.
Custody is a separate matter. Child custody can be awarded to a third party, including grandparents, as part of a child custody case. This sometimes occurs when no other adult is able to care for the child and the grandparent wants to avoid having the child enter the foster care system. In other cases, the grandparent is already acting as a de facto guardian of the child but would need to pursue custody to make it formal and legal.
If you are a grandparent searching for help obtaining custody of a grandchild, contact Zirkin & Schmerling Law as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Take a Look at These Maryland Family Law Resources
- Divorcing in Maryland
- Maryland Division of Property
- Alimony in Maryland
- Paying Child Support in Maryland
- Maryland Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
- FREE Case Evaluation (Online Request Form)
- Free case evaluation by phone: 410-753-4611
Frequently Asked Questions About Maryland Family Law Matters
If you have a question about your individual situation, we encourage you to reach out to us for a free case evaluation. In addition, here are some common questions and answers about Maryland family law.
Q: Does an ex-spouse have to pay alimony in Maryland?
A: There is no requirement for alimony, but either spouse can request it. Whether or not you pay alimony will be decided by a judge in an equitable way based on a variety of factors. One important factor considered is if there is an existing prenuptial agreement. Learn more about this issue on our alimony page.
Q: Is Maryland a 50/50 divorce state?
A: Terms like “50/50 state” or “equal divorce state” don’t quite capture how Maryland works. Although alimony and marital assets are awarded in Maryland through a process of equitable distribution, this does not mean equal. A judge will decide what’s fair, and you’ll need an experienced lawyer to help you get an optimal outcome.
Q: Do mothers automatically get child custody in Maryland?
A: No. Neither parent is automatically awarded custody unless one parent is deceased. Maryland courts tend to award joint custody and visitation unless there is a compelling reason to rule otherwise, like abuse in the home or an incarcerated parent.
Q: Will I lose custody of my child if I’m unemployed?
A: No. Being unemployed doesn’t make you unable to be a parent and doesn’t mean a judge will consider you unfit to have custody or visitation. However, your ability to provide for your child’s needs is a factor. Talk to your lawyer and read more on our child custody page.
Q: What’s the difference between physical and legal custody?
Physical custody determines how much time the child spends with each parent in their day-to-day life, plus holidays and other special days. Legal custody involves making decisions for the child, like their doctor or school. Both types of custody can be sole (one parent) or joint (both parents).
Q: What can a grandparent do about divorce and visitation?
A: Maryland doesn’t have grandparents’ rights; however you can express your desire to see your grandchild for visitation through the child’s parent. Although a judge doesn’t have to honor your request, they may see that you have a genuine desire to stay connected to your grandchild and factor this into the visitation arrangements.
Q: How does an attorney help with a family law case?
A: Your attorney will help you figure out which of more than 20 Maryland courts will hear your family law case. They’ll also help show the court that you’re a good person who is trying to abide by the law. When the other side is argumentative, your lawyer will stand up for your rights in court or in out-of-court negotiations. If you have children, your attorney will help you protect their best interests and prove that you are a responsible and caring parent.
Need Answers About Family Law? We’re Here to Help.
At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we have compassion for Maryland citizens who are experiencing divorce, child custody battles, and other family law matters. At this stressful time in your life, we’re here to help. We promise to work passionately to help protect you.