Family relationships carry legal expectations and responsibilities. When issues such as divorce, paternity, or establishing child support complicate the family dynamic, disputes can arise and relationships can change. Having a family attorney to help you navigate these situations could ease the tensions these issues often cause.

A Largo family lawyer handles all matters relating to marriage, separation, and divorce. Your family’s security and well-being often depend on how you handle these issues, so consulting a trusted team member for your legal matters should be a priority.

Agreements to Protect Your Property

When a couple marries, they tie their financial futures to each other. Everything they acquire after the wedding becomes marital property, regardless of who pays for it or whose name is on the title or deed. Even someone’s separate property, such as a home, could become marital property if they use marital funds to maintain it or pay the mortgage.

Many couples decide before marriage how they want to handle property and finances while they are married or if they divorce. Considering these issues ahead of time allows each partner to enter the relationship with reasonable expectations and a clear idea of the other person’s financial position. To formalize any verbal wishes or compromises, couples can draft a prenuptial agreement, which may be essential if either person owns a business, has children from a prior relationship, or expects to inherit significant assets.

A prenuptial agreement can also save the couple considerable expense and strain if the marriage ends in divorce. Courts will honor these arrangements in most circumstances, sparing both parties from testy negotiations over property division and alimony. Couples without a prenuptial agreement must develop agreements relating to property division and alimony when they divorce, or the court will make decisions for them.

A Largo attorney could draft a comprehensive prenuptial agreement that helps a couple future family law issues.

Advocacy During Separation and Divorce

Divorcing can be a complicated legal matter, especially when a couple has children. Although spouses can decide on property division in advance through a prenuptial agreement, they can only decide on issues relating to children at the time of separation.

Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions for the children on major issues such as religion, healthcare, and education. Physical custody, often called parenting time, refers to how much time the children spend in each parent’s home or with each parent. Parents can share legal and physical custody or divide it in a way that seems workable given their circumstances.

A Largo attorney could help divorcing parents develop a parenting plan that details child support, their arrangements regarding where the children live, how much time they spend with each parent, how the parents will resolve disputes with each other, and other family law issues.

Establishing Paternity

Unique legal issues can arise in some non-traditional and blended families. For example, parents that never marry can face complications when establishing paternity. Maryland Code Annotated, Family Law § 5-1028 states if both unmarried parents sign an Affidavit of Parentage when a baby is born (or anytime thereafter), the child will have two legal parents. Otherwise, the child has just one legal parent, the mother. However, either parent could petition the court to establish the child’s parentage. If one parent disputes the other’s assertion of paternity, the court will order a genetic test. Establishing paternity obligates the father to pay child support and gives him the right to request contact with the child.

When unmarried parents have questions about establishing paternity or how state law affects their family dynamic, a knowledgeable lawyer could offer guidance.

Depend on a Largo Attorney To Handle Your Family Law Matter

Family matters are sensitive, emotional, and time-consuming. When you are working through a family issue such as divorce, child support, or paternity with a partner or spouse, you need a compassionate, knowledgeable, and capable attorney to put their skills to work for you.

A Largo family lawyer can get to know you, understand your goals, and work to find a workable solution for your issues. Call today to speak with our team and schedule your initial consultation.