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Divorce Law


Q1: What are the grounds for filing for divorce?
A1: Grounds for divorce vary by jurisdiction but commonly include irreconcilable differences, adultery, abandonment, cruelty, and prolonged separation. Your eligibility depends on the laws in your jurisdiction.

Q2: How long does the divorce process typically take?
A2: The duration of the divorce process varies based on factors such as the complexity of the case, cooperation between spouses, and court caseload. Uncontested divorces may be resolved more quickly than contested ones.

Q3: Do I need to prove fault to get a divorce?
A3: In Maryland, no-fault divorce is available, meaning you don’t have to prove fault to obtain a divorce. You can cite irreconcilable differences or similar reasons, making the process more amicable.

Q4: What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?
A4: In a contested divorce, spouses disagree on key issues, requiring court intervention. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on terms such as property division and child custody, streamlining the process.

Q5: How is property divided during a divorce?
A5: Property division varies by jurisdiction. In Maryland, “Marital Property” is defined as property acquired during the marriage regardless of how titled. Factors like financial contributions are considered if there is a claim for division of property.

Q6: Can I modify a divorce agreement after it’s been finalized?
A6: Modifying a divorce agreement is possible under certain circumstances, such as changes in income, health, or custodial arrangements. If the agreement specifically states that it is non-modifiable, the court can make no changes.

Q7: How is child custody determined in a divorce?
A7: Child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. Factors like parental fitness, stability, and the child’s preferences (depending on age) are considered in the court’s decision.

Q8: Do I need an attorney for a divorce, or can I represent myself?
A8: While representing yourself, known as pro se, is an option, it’s advisable to seek legal representation, especially when the other parent/spouse has an attorney. An attorney can provide valuable guidance, ensure your rights are protected, and navigate complex legal procedures.

Q9: How much does a divorce attorney cost?
A9: Attorney fees vary based on factors like location, complexity of the case, and the attorney’s experience. Some attorneys require a retainer (deposit) up front, while others offer flat fees. It’s essential to discuss fees and payment plans at the initial meeting.

Q10: What steps should I take to initiate a divorce?
A10: To initiate a divorce, consult with an attorney first. They will guide you through the process, help you gather necessary documents, and file the required paperwork with the court to start the proceedings.

Child Custody Law


Q1: What factors does the court consider when determining child custody?
A1: The court considers various factors, including the child’s age, physical and mental health of each parent, the child’s adjustment to their current home, and the ability of each parent to provide a stable environment.

Q2: Can I modify an existing child custody arrangement?
A2: Yes, child custody arrangements can be modified if there’s a substantial change in circumstances, such as a parent relocating, changes in the child’s needs, or concerns about the child’s well-being. Court approval is required.

Q3: How is joint custody different from sole custody?
A3: Joint custody involves both parents sharing decision-making responsibilities and often, but not necessarily, equal time with the child. Sole custody grants one parent exclusive decision-making authority and primary physical custody.

Q4: What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?
A4: Legal custody refers to a parent’s authority to make major decisions about a child’s life, such as education and healthcare. Physical custody pertains to where the child lives and the daily care they receive.

Q5: How does the court determine visitation rights for the noncustodial parent?
A5: Visitation rights are determined based on the best interests of the child. The court considers factors such as the noncustodial parent’s availability, willingness to support the child’s relationship with the custodial parent, and the child’s preferences.

Q6: Can grandparents seek visitation rights?
A6: In some jurisdictions, grandparents may petition for visitation rights if it is in the best interests of the child. However, laws vary, and grandparents typically need to demonstrate a substantial relationship with the child.

Q7: How can a parent prove they are fit for custody?
A7: To prove fitness for custody, a parent should demonstrate stability, provide a safe and nurturing environment, participate in the child’s life, and adhere to court orders. Relevant evidence may include employment records, character references, and parenting plans.

Q8: Can the court consider the child’s preference in custody decisions?
A8: Depending on the child’s age and maturity, the court may consider their preference. However, the final decision is based on what the court determines to be in the child’s best interests.

Q9: How can I enforce a child custody order if the other parent is not complying?
A9: If the other parent is not complying with a custody order, you may need to file a motion for contempt with the court. The court can then enforce the order through various means, such as fines, modification of the order, or even custodial changes.

Q10: What steps should I take if I want to pursue child custody?
A10: If you want to pursue child custody, consult with an attorney specializing in family law. They can guide you through the legal process, help you gather necessary documentation, and advocate for your interests in court.

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A. David Zerivitz, P.A.

Attorney At Law
If you are searching for a trustworthy family or divorce lawyer in Towson, MD and surrounding areas, choose Attorney David Zerivitz. He has 46 years of experience practicing in Family and Divorce Law. Get in touch with him by calling at (410) 653-5800 or filling out the contact form below. David proudly offers legal counsel in and around Baltimore, Ellicott, and Catonsville. Don’t hesitate to reach out for any of your legal family matters.

(410) 653-5800

100 Church Lane,
Pikesville, MD 21208

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is presented for informational and marketing purposes only and is not to be understood as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice respecting your individual needs. A. David Zerivitz, P.A. Attorney At Law looks forward to speaking with you about your particular needs. Please note, however, that the mere act of contacting our firm does not create an attorney-client relationship. As a result, you should never send any confidential information to our office until a Representation Agreement has been signed by both you and A. David Zerivitz, P.A. Attorney At Law.

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