Family Law Lawyer Rockville, MD
When you have questions regarding family law and what you should do regarding divorce, child support, or alimony, reach out to the trusted family law lawyer in Rockville, MD from Azari Law, LLC. We understand that when you turn to a family lawyer, you are likely going through a difficult time with the people you are closest to. Especially in these situations, it can be stressful and overwhelming because you may have children to consider. We want to be there to help you when you need us most. If you would like to see what our team can do for you, schedule a consultation with us now.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I went through a divorce, and my ex-spouse never pays me on time. I always have to call so that I can see a check. Can you help?
A: This is a common problem for many people, especially when it comes to spousal support or alimony. One thing we can do is get an order for a wage assignment. This means that the court will have your spouse’s employer take out a certain amount of money from their paycheck to get paid to you directly. You may have already set up a schedule with your ex-spouse about when this will get sent, though this schedule may change because it will be in line with when your ex gets paid, not with what the court initially stated.
Q: My ex now lives with someone. Do I still need to pay spousal support?
A: This will depend on a few things. First, is your ex in a relationship with the person they are living with? If they are simply roommates, spousal support would likely continue because the other person cannot be expected to start taking care of your ex. On the other hand, if your ex is in a relationship with this person and they are cohabitating, it likely means there is not as big of a need for your support. Our team has seen support reduced or cut off in these circumstances.
Q: If I lose my job, will I still be required to pay child support or alimony?
When there is a significant change in a person’s financial status, they may pursue child support or alimony modification to the court. However, we may suggest not stopping payments unless necessary until the court approves your request for modification. We can help you complete the required paperwork and review it before submission to make sure you are making a strong case. The court may reduce the amount you pay or halt it temporarily until you have found employment.
Q: How long does the divorce process take?
The length of time it takes before your divorce is final will depend on many factors. A divorce may take years if it is highly contested, and the spouses have trouble reaching divorce agreements. However, by having a family law lawyer on your side, we can help move things along quicker, especially if your ex is being anything but cooperative during this time. Sometimes, all it takes is strategic legal intervention and strategy to coax an ex into being cordial and less combative. On average, a divorce takes between six months and a year from the date of petition filing for it to be finalized.
Q: What are the factors that determine whether alimony will be granted?
If you are the dependent spouse, you may be able to get alimony through negotiations with your ex during the divorce settlement. Otherwise, it will be the court that makes this determination based on the following factors:
- Duration of marriage
- Age of both parties
- Earning capacity of each spouse
- Ability to obtain employment for each spouse
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Whether one spouse devoted his or her time to child-rearing and domestic duties so the other could pursue career goals
- Whether one spouse needs time to take an educational course and training to obtain employment
Q: Is it necessary that I hire a lawyer for my divorce?
Even the most amicable divorce may require help from an experienced family law lawyer. Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process that can stir up many intense feelings. Not only may you be grieving the loss of your marriage, but you will then have to negotiate terms of your separation with someone you probably thought you’d be with for a lifetime. Typical topics of discussion that a lawyer can help you navigate with your ex include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Alimony (spousal support)
- Division of marital assets and debts
- Visitation schedule
- Ownership of pets
- Who remains in the family home
Q: I’m worried that my children are in danger when they visit my ex. Is it possible to stop visiting with them?
A: While courts want children to be able to see both parents if possible, if you believe that your children are going to be harmed when they visit your ex, you should speak with your attorney as soon as possible to get them out of a dangerous situation.
Talking to Your Children About Divorce
Divorce is often hardest on the children. Divorce is difficult for any child to go through, and while many people think it is only younger children that suffer, that is not the case. Parents may believe there is nothing they can do to make the process any easier, but that is also untrue. If you are going through a divorce, the following steps may help make the process easier for the kids.
Keep Your Regular Routine
When going through a divorce, you will have many deviations from your regular routine. You may have to meet with your attorney and attend settlement conferences as well as court appearances. Even with all of this going on, it is essential to keep your schedule as normal as possible. If your children have extracurricular activities, make sure you continue to ensure they attend them and that you do, as well. Make sure you keep the routine the same as home, even if it’s something as simple as sitting down together for dinner every night.
Create a Co-Parenting Plan
It is not uncommon for one parent to move out of the family home before the divorce process even starts, or at some point during the proceedings. In these cases, it is essential to establish child custody and parenting plans with your spouse. It can reduce the stress on children if they know they will continue to spend time with both parents during and after the divorce. Agreeing to a parenting plan can also make it easier to resolve this issue during the divorce. Your family law lawyer can help you come up with a fair, temporary plan, as well as file the temporary order with the court, if necessary.
Do Not Bring Drama into the Home
A Rockville, MD family law lawyer, understands divorce will be one of the most stressful events in your life, and it is not unusual for you to feel angry, sad, and frustrated. While you cannot put these emotions away when you walk into your home, it is crucial to shield your children from them as much as possible. Although it is sometimes healthy for your children to see that you experience these emotions and that you healthily work through them, you certainly do not want them to take over every interaction with your children.
Talk to Your Children
Your children will have questions about the divorce, or they may simply want to talk to you about the emotions they are feeling. You must sit down with them and answer any question they have and listen to the feelings they are trying to work through. Also, make sure that you do not only talk with your children when you first tell them about the divorce, but throughout the process and afterward, too.
Child Support and Child Custody Modifications: What You Should Know
Our family law lawyers know firsthand the agreements that must be made when two people determine that they will end their marriage by filing for divorce. For couples who share children, decisions surrounding their care will be a top priority and most likely some of the most challenging agreements to reach.
Typically, those decisions will involve where the children will live, how parents will make decisions in their child’s best interests, and child custody arrangements. Often developing agreements surrounding children are emotionally fueled and challenging to work through. Know that parents will need to modify agreements made over time due to changes of circumstance in some cases. Should this occur, it’s in your best interest to contact Azari Law, LLC for the proper guidance.
Reasons Agreements Are Critical
When living together in the same household, it should be no surprise that co-parenting can be incredibly challenging. However, when two people choose to no longer be in a relationship with one another, the prospect of co-parenting can bring forth entirely new challenges. Sometimes, you may believe that it’s possible to sort things out without a formal agreement in place.
However, be aware should you and your soon-to-be-ex choose to move forward without an agreement, conflict, complexity, and confusion are sure to follow. Having clear arrangements for child custody and child support in place is critical for several reasons:
- Keeping routine can help children feel well adjusted, secure, and clear of what each day will look like
- Clear child support agreements ensure that the child’s standard of living and basic needs are met
- Prevent the likelihood of confusion or contention down the road because each party lacks understanding or has varying expectations
- All involved will have a sense of where and when children involved will spend time with each parent.
Without clear agreements outlining expectations, our team knows that there is a high likelihood of issues arising. Our team can ensure that arrangements are developed that keep your best interests at the forefront of the process.
Understanding Modifications for Child Support & Child Custody
Over time, agreements that were made at the time of divorce may no longer be relevant. As a result, parents may seek to modify current arrangements that are in place. Here are some reasons to request a modification of your current arrangement:
For Child Custody:
- One parent is unable to take care of the child or is being put in harm’s way
- One parent is moving out of state
- The current visitation schedule is not adhered to by one or both parents
For Child Support Modifications:
- There has been a change in income
- The non-custodial parent has additional children
- The child no longer lives with the custodial parent
- Expenses for the child have increased
Requesting a modification should be one of the first steps taken if your agreement is no longer appropriate for your child’s needs. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that the child’s needs are kept at the forefront to mitigate adverse impacts that may arise. If your current arrangement is no longer working, contact Azari Law, LLC. Our family law lawyers are standing by to assist you with the next steps.
What Child Support Covers and Doesn’t Cover
Child support is awarded in order to cover the expenses for providing a home, clothing, food, and insurance for a child. However, as any parent can attest, there are also other expenses that go along with raising a child. This often brings up the issue as to what exactly is child support supposed to cover and should there be additional expenses that a noncustodial parent should share with the custodial parent.
Each state has its own laws as far as calculating child support obligations. Some states use an income share method that uses both parents’ income to determine the amount, while other states take a percentage of the paying parents income, based on how many children the couple have, and determine the amount that way.
A child support attorney can explain to you what the rule is for the state you live in, however, in general, the courts will look at the larger picture of all the expenses that are involved in each particular case. There are the basics that were mentioned above, food, housing, clothing, and medical care.
But the courts can also examine other expenses that involve the child to determine how much of a financial responsibility each parent has. For example, if a child has been attending private school, there are often extra costs besides just tuition. These extra expenses can include uniforms, tutors, school supplies, and fees for school activities.
Your child support attorney can make sure that the courts are aware of these extra expenses and request that the other parent shoulder a percentage of the costs, above what the child support obligation for the child’s basic needs are. Other expenses that can be include in this category include:
- After school care
- College tuition and expenses
- Private or group lessons
- Sports fees, including uniforms and equipment
- Vehicle insurance if the child has a car
Although child support can be used to cover some of these costs, the majority of these expenses will go beyond what the allowed calculation of the basic needs of the child are. It is not an uncommon situation for the custodial parent to not have enough to cover all of these expenses after taking care of the basic needs costs. This is why it is important to have the court make a separate ruling on these types of expenses.
Let a Child Support Attorney Help You
If you are dealing with child support issues, you need a seasoned child support attorney who will fight to get you and your family the financial benefits you deserve. At Azari Law, LLC, our legal team has built a solid reputation for getting our clients the best possible outcome available with the circumstances of their case.
We will aggressively advocate for you and your child in making sure that your ex-spouse pays his or her fair share for the costs of raising your child. Contact our office today to set up a free and confidential case evaluation and to find out what legal options are available to you.
4 Tips for Telling Your Kids About Your Divorce
You and your spouse may feel good about your decision to divorce. But telling your children about your plans to end your marriage may feel a lot harder. A family law lawyer in Rockville, MD from Azari Law, LLC can help you with the legal side of the process and the following strategies can help you break this major news to your children.
1. Pick the Right Time
Telling your children about your divorce is something they will likely remember for a long time. Choose the right time to tell your children that you are ending your marriage. For example, do not tell your children about your divorce the day before one of your children’s birthdays. You should also tell all your children about your divorce at one time, instead of having this conversation separately with each child.
2. Write Out a Script
Any family law lawyer in Rockville, MD can tell you that divorce can be an emotionally difficult process, even if the split is relatively amicable. To help yourself prepare for this conversation, work with your spouse to write out a script. Write down exactly what you plan to say and what kind of issues you need to address to help your children feel secure and informed.
3. Answer Your Children’s Questions
Your children will likely have many questions after you tell them about your divorce. Try to answer your children’s questions as thoroughly as possible. And make sure that you do not blame the divorce on your spouse. Make it clear that the divorce was not your children’s fault and be open and honest in your responses to their questions.
4. Prepare for a Variety of Emotions
Your children may experience a range of emotions after you tell them about your divorce, and some of them will be unexpected. Plan on providing your children with extra attention in the coming days after this conversation, so you can better support them emotionally. If your children seem to be having a difficult time processing the news, it may be helpful for them to talk to a counselor.
Your family law lawyer in Rockville, MD from Azari Law, LLC can help you move forward with the divorce process as you put together child custody plans and work through other issues. Remember that your children will take time to get used to the idea of your divorce, but this will happen eventually.
Choosing an “Approach” to Your Divorce Process
Just as every marriage is unique, so is every divorce process. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to approach your divorce. There are simply different approaches to the divorce process that you may choose to embrace for various reasons.
Oftentimes, a traditionally “contentious” approach to divorce that requires judicial intervention is spoken about negatively. However, this approach may serve your best interests if you and your spouse struggle with fundamental differences concerning property division and/or child custody that cannot be resolved via more collaborative means. Additionally, a litigated divorce process may best serve your needs if your marriage was affected by domestic violence.
Conversely, if you and your spouse disagree about some of your property division and/or child custody terms but hope to be able to reach a consensus without judicial intervention, you may benefit from working with a Rockville, MD family law lawyer at Azari Law, LLC on a mediation-based or attorney-led negotiation strategy to resolving your differences. These processes will allow you and your spouse to determine the terms of your divorce without a judge determining any aspect of your post-marriage fate.
Finally, you may be able to work with our firm to simply “cross your T’s and dot your I’s” if you and your spouse have drawn up a draft divorce agreement that simply needs to be formalized. No matter which approach to your divorce process you choose, opt for the one that will best serve your overall goals for your divorce process. If you are unsure of which of these approaches will best fit your needs, don’t panic. During your risk-free consultation with Azari Law, LLC, a Rockville, MD family law lawyer on our knowledgeable team will answer all of your questions and provide you with informed guidance so that you can make the best possible decision for your unique situation.
Property Division Considerations
When thinking about your property division goals, it can be helpful to make a list of all of your major tangible, intangible, and digital assets and accounts. Don’t forget to include particularly sentimental property on this list, even if it is not worth much monetarily. Take time to consider what property you absolutely will not negotiate about—meaning, that if you had to go to court to keep it, you would. Then, consider what property you’d like to have but is not a “deal breaker” for you. Finally, consider what property you’d be willing to concede to your spouse without too much hesitation. Making a list of your property division priorities can help the experienced Maryland legal team at Azari Law, LLC to craft a property division strategy that best fits your needs at this time.
Preparing for Your Divorce in Practical Ways
When you sit down with a trusted Rockville, MD family law lawyer from our firm in a risk-free consultation setting, don’t forget to ask any questions you may have about preparing for divorce in practical ways. If you are concerned about making big purchases, opening new accounts, transferring beneficiary designations, etc., please voice those concerns to us so that we may be of service in ways that can help you the most.
Contact Azari Law, LLC Today
If you are struggling to deal with divorce or other family law-related issues, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm to find out more information. We can address your questions and concerns over a consultation. So if you want to learn more about how we can help you with family legal problems, contact our Rockville, Maryland family law lawyer from Azari Law, LLC now.