Law Offices of Fogam & Associates, LLC

What Types Of Family Law Cases Do You Handle?


We handle divorce, either contested, or uncontested, custody, support, and alimony,

What Is The Difference between A Contested And An Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce in is one where the defendant is not contesting the ground for the divorce. For example, if the parties have been separated for more than two years, or the parties agreed that they were going to divorce, and there is a clear ground, then that is not contested. In those types of cases, the plaintiff, files the complaint and proceed to court without the defendant provided that defendant signs a joint request for uncontested divorce.

A contested divorce case is one where the defendant is contesting one of the grounds for the divorce. This contest may arise because there are children, or property involved. In order to bring them to court, the defendant would not accept that the ground for divorce actually exist.

How Can Someone Prepare For An Impending Divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, I believe the first thing any potential plaintiff should do is make sure they discuss it with their partner to ensure that the ground for divorce is not going to be contested, and then of course explain that to your lawyer. The lawyer will then prepare the papers, and write a letter to the potential, defendant to let them know that this is going to be filed as an uncontested case. Now, of course, if there are children involved, or property issues, then those things have to be resolved between the parties before filing for that divorce. Sometimes, the parties can enter into a marital separation agreement that would resolve all these issues. This may then be incorporated or merged into the divorce. You have to take some of these steps, because if these steps are not taken, then going to court, that will be a contested case.

For a contested divorce case, after the complaint for divorce is filed, a Writ of Summons will be issued. If the defendant is served, he or she will need to answer. Of course, the defendant can contest by denying the grounds for divorce. If there are issues, for example, property issues, or alimony, all those things will come up in court. The court will initially schedule what is referred to as scheduling hearing. This hearing determines how the case will proceed. Various time lines will be set during this hearing including but not limited to discovery timeline. The court may also order parenting seminars, mediation or other actions to be taken before the trial.

How Is Child Custody Determined In Maryland?

In Maryland, child custody is determined based on the “best interest of the child” standard. In doing so, the court looks at things like; the income of the parents, the lifestyle of the parents, the attachment, or the relationship the child has with the parents, where the parents will live, or where the child goes to school. The custodial parent will be that parent who the child lives with, and the best interest of the child is then accomplished.

Who Is Going To Be Required To Pay Child Support?

In Maryland, a child support order will normally make provisions for physical and legal custody. Both parties generally have legal custody, which is the right to make decisions regarding the child’s welfare. Physical custody can be joint or sole. The party who has physical custody is referred to as the custodial parent. The parent who has sole physical custody will normally be the party receiving the child support payments. So, the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support, but again, this will depend on the incomes of both parties. In Maryland, we have a system where there is a schedule to determine how child support is paid.

There are cases where the non-custodial parent may not be making a lot of money while the custodial parent is making substantially more. When this happens, the child support schedule, may produce a result where the non-custodial parent would not be required to pay child support. Therefore, it really depends on the income of both parties, and how the court sees the obligations of the parties.

For more information on Family Law Cases In Maryland, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 301-608-1555 today.

Edwin K. Fogam, Esq.

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