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Family Law FAQ

Our Rockville and Frederick Attorneys Answer Your Questions

Family law is a complex area of practice that is deeply personal and difficult for families to navigate. If you have questions regarding any of the processes involved, the law, or your rights, take a moment to review the answers to some of the most frequently asked family law questions.

What You Need to Know

Equipping yourself with knowledge is one of the best things any individual facing a family law matter can do. We compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their accompanying answers to shed some light on the issues you are facing.

  • Do I need a lawyer to get divorced? Although hiring an attorney is not required to obtain a divorce, it would be unwise to forego this step. A divorce attorney will help you understand your rights, explain the law, and provide invaluable advice. A lot is at stake in a divorce and an attorney can help you protect your interests.
  • How long do I have to be a resident of Maryland to file for a divorce? In Maryland, you must be a resident for at least a six months to file for divorce.
  • What are the grounds for an absolute divorce?
  • There are several grounds for an absolute divorce in Maryland, including mutual agreement, one year of no cohabitation, adultery, desertion for 12 consecutive months, excessive vicious conduct towards the spouse or the minor child of the spouse, cruelty of treatment, and insanity that results in 3 years of confinement in an institution.
  • How long will it take to get a divorce? The length of your divorce will depend entirely on the details of your case, such as your grounds for divorce, where you live, where you file the suit, and the disputed issues in your case, such as child custody and property division.
  • What is the difference between joint physical custody and joint legal custody? Joint legal custody occurs when both parents have an equal right to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as education, religious preferences, health, and other important aspects of the child’s life. Joint physical custody occurs when both parties have shared access to the child.
  • What will happen to the property my spouse and I own? Maryland is an equitable distribution state, which means marital property is divided fairly and not necessarily equally. If you have an inheritance, received gifts from a third party, or purchased something before your marriage, none of these items will be subject to division since they are considered separate property.
  • What factors are considered when determining alimony? When determining alimony, a judge will review numerous factors. Some of the factors considered in such cases include the length of the marriage, the financial resources and needs of each spouse, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, contributions each spouse made for the family, and the mental and physical condition of each party.
  • Are there alternatives to divorce litigation? Yes, there are many alternatives to litigation, such as mediation and collaborative divorce. These methods are often less adversarial, more cost-effective, and require less time. Moreover, if you have children, these options can help you and your former spouse learn to compromise and work together.

Contact Our Knowledgeable Family Law Team Today!

Regardless of the family law matter you are facing, you can rely on the team at Fait & DiLima, LLP in Rockville and Frederick to help you achieve the best possible results for your case. We have the experience and insight necessary to tackle even the most complex family law disputes.

Call our law office today at (301) 888-6384 to schedule a consultation!

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Why Choose Us?

  • Dorothy R. Fait & Marjorie G. DiLima are Published Authors of Divorce In Maryland: The Legal Process, Your Rights, and What to Expect (2017)

  • Evening & Weekend Appointments By Request
  • Skilled Protective Order Representation
  • A Personalized & Targeted Approach
  • 50 Years of Combined Legal Experience
  • Esteemed Awards & Recognitions
  • Top Litigators & Negotiators

A Word from Past Clients

  • “Sylvia Borenstein & Laura Duncan of Fait & DiLima, LLP were incredibly knowledgeable and experienced at helping me sorting out and making a lot of important decisions for my life changing divorce. ...”

    - B.H.
  • “Sylvia Borenstein's Professionalism and knowledge of family law was very impressive. She thought of ways to help my sons that I never knew existed. Like establishing Trusts that are designed for ...”

    - B.H.
  • “Dorothy Fait successfully helped me through a highly contentious divorce, custody, and support case. Throughout the entire process, she was the perfect mixture of professionally skillful and also kind ...”

    - J.V.
  • “I had met several family law attorneys in the past through the Montgomery County Bar Association, and 2 years later when my (ex-)husband and I decided to get divorced, she was top of mind. Before ...”

    - I.A.
  • “Laura and Dorothy are very professional and knowledgeable. When I hired them I [had] been two years in the divorce process already. I was hopeless and then Laura [and Dorothy] put everything in order ...”

    - M.M.