It’s a fact of life that family units change—whether it’s the happy event of adopting a child or the difficult struggle of a divorce. These changes happen more often than you might think. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in Maryland there were 2.7 divorces and annulments for every 1,000 people in the state in 2019.
When serious changes happen to your family, you may need legal representation. In Towson, Baltimore County, throughout Maryland, and in York, Pennsylvania, Lebovitz Law LLC can represent you in all matters related to family law.
Whether you are adding a new member to your family or separating from a spouse, changes to your family structure can be both exciting and scary. At the end of the day, you want the best for everyone involved. It’s important to be prepared for the legal tasks that lie ahead.
For families who adopt a child or spouses who marry a partner who already has a child, there are legal considerations that need to be taken into account.
You may already be familiar with a prenuptial agreement, where two parties sign a contract detailing financial arrangements before they marry.
With a postnuptial agreement, the same financial arrangements are agreed upon—however, the contract is signed after the marriage.
It’s important to work with a knowledgeable attorney to set up a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement that is fair and covers all the bases.
In Maryland, there are three types of adoption:
Public Agency Adoption: After parental rights have been lost, the department of social services files this type of adoption.
Private Agency Adoption: When a private agency identifies a family willing and able to adopt a child available for adoption, this type of adoption is filed.
Independent Adoption: Usually when a stepparent or co-parent would like to adopt his or her partner’s child, this type of adoption is filed.
When so much is changing for you and your family, it can be incredibly overwhelming. Allow a compassionate and committed attorney to take some of the weight off your shoulders as you strive to pursue a brighter future.
Relationships change over time, whether we expect them to or not. If your family structure is shifting because of a divorce or annulment, it is important to be prepared for the legalities these changes will involve.
In Maryland, there are two types of divorce:
Limited Divorce: This divorce settles some important issues, but is not the end to a marriage. It addresses child custody and financial issues.
Absolute Divorce: This divorce legally ends a marriage, settling all issues. After it is finalized, ex-spouses can remarry.
Like divorce, determining child custody is a difficult and stressful process. Both parties need to remember throughout this frustrating time that the child’s interests must come first.
A child custody agreement will have a major impact on the child’s education, religious upbringing, and living situation. To be granted child custody, you must first complete Maryland’s Complaint for Custody form and file it in the circuit court where the child or either parent lives.
Child support agreements are impacted by several factors, including each parent’s financial situation, the child’s health needs, and the child’s relationship with each parent. If you disagree with the judge’s decision in a child support case, it is possible to petition the court to change the terms of the arrangement through a child support modification.
As time goes on, your original child support agreement may no longer work for your current situation. If you get married, have another child, or start a new job, you could apply for a child support modification.
Judges may award alimony—otherwise known as ‘spousal support’—based on a variety of factors such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s ability to meet his or her financial needs. Alimony can be ongoing or can be limited to a definite period of time. If you have questions about either receiving alimony or paying alimony, contact a family law attorney.
Whether you are considering adopting a child or preparing for a divorce, you should know your options when it comes to family court. Lebovitz Law LLC has helped clients in Towson, Maryland, Baltimore County, and York, Pennsylvania to secure the legal outcome they need. Partner with an attorney so you can be confident that you’re represented by someone with the experience to navigate the courts successfully, while also keeping your litigation costs down. Schedule a consultation today.