Family law is a complex field; you need an attorney you can trust to handle your matter capably, discreetly, and with compassion.

An Upper Marlboro family lawyer understands family law issues often involve heightened emotions. They could learn about your situation, talk to you about your goals, and implement a strategy to help you achieve them. Whether you need help with divorce, paternity, separation, or a similar matter, the team at Carmiece Graves Law is here to offer guidance.

Issues Relating to Children and Paternity

Part of the relationship between a parent and a child is based on law. Being a legal parent bestows the obligation to provide financial support and the right to seek custody and visitation with one’s children.

While the biological mother is a child’s legal mother, the birth father is a legal parent only if he is married to the mother or if he and the mother sign an Affidavit of Parentage acknowledging his paternity. When either unmarried parent wants to establish paternity and the other parent objects or disputes parentage, the parent could seek a court order. The judge in such a case typically orders a paternity test. Establishing paternity can be a challenge, so working with a knowledgeable family attorney in Upper Marlboro could help clarify concerns and address complications.

Parenting Plans for Separating and Divorcing Couples

When children have two legal parents who do not live together, the parents must establish a parenting plan that describes how the couple will co-parent, including where the children will live, how much parenting time the non-custodial parent will have, and how much financial support each parent will contribute. These parenting plans are crucial, since they help set clear expectations for how a child will live with and relate to each parent.

Courts prefer parents develop parenting plans themselves or with a mediator. The parties must consider Maryland Code Annotated, Family Law § 9-204.1, which requires them to formulate a plan in the children’s best interests. Factors the parents should consider include:

  • The children’s health and developmental needs
  • The children’s relationship with each parent as well as any extended family or others who spend significant time in each parent’s household
  • The children’s preferences if they are old enough to express a considered preference
  • Each parent’s skills and experience being the children’s primary caregiver
  • Each parent’s ability to communicate without conflict and resolve disputes concerning the children
  • The location of each parent’s home in relation to the children’s schools, activities, and extended family

When parents have trouble communicating and mediation is unsuccessful, a dedicated family lawyer in Largo might work with the other partner’s attorney to create a workable plan that both parties find acceptable. Establishing a concrete and comprehensive parenting plan is a common family law issue, and our legal team could help parents understand everything they need to know.

Issues Related to Financial Matters

Untangling a couple’s financial affairs is often a time-consuming and contentious aspect of divorce. Maryland law considers all property acquired during a marriage marital property, subject to equitable division when the couple dissolves their marriage. It does not matter who paid for the property or whose name is on the title or deed.

If a couple decides to end their marriage, a prenuptial agreement could simplify the property division process. The court honors a premarital agreement unless it is clearly unfair or if one spouse engaged in fraud, coercion, or placed the other spouse under duress. The court will not uphold a premarital agreement when one spouse did not provide full disclosure of their assets and liabilities.

When there is no valid prenuptial agreement, a couple must decide on an equitable division of their property. An equitable division is not necessarily an equal split but should be fair and account for each spouse’s contributions to the marriage. An Upper Marlboro attorney could help a family negotiate a fair property division.

Engage an Upper Marlboro Attorney for Your Family Law Matter

When you need help with a legal matter affecting your family life, reach out to an Upper Marlboro family lawyer. With significant experience in all aspects of family law, they could help you resolve the matter without unnecessary expense or drama.

When the stakes are high, you need a skilled attorney by your side. Reach out to our office today to schedule your initial consultation.