Maryland Family Law Attorney
Compassionate guidance for divorce, child custody, visitation and mediation
Family law cases are emotionally turbulent for all parties involved. However, you can reduce the impact your domestic case has on you and your children by hiring an experienced attorney. At the Law Offices of Dawn S. Veltman, LLC, I have represented divorcing spouses and families in a variety of sensitive issues for over a decade. Whether you’re seeking to mediate a child custody agreement or file for divorce, I can assert your rights and protect your interests.
File for divorce in Maryland
Depending on your circumstances, you may be filing or facing a “limited” or “absolute” divorce. A limited divorce is essentially a legal separation — you resolve issues about child custody, alimony, etc., but remain legally married. An absolute divorce settles the same issues but officially ends your marriage.
To file for divorce in Maryland, you or your spouse must have resided in the state for at least one year. Additionally, unless you are filing a fault divorce, you must have lived apart for at least 12 months. You can file a fault divorce on the following grounds:
- Imprisonment for a crime
- Insanity, the cruelty of treatment
- Excessively vicious conduct
I can help you acquire, fill out, and submit the necessary paperwork for your divorce. I will also protect your rights and uncover the most effective strategy for achieving your goals. If your case is contested, I can investigate your financial records to ensure marital and nonmarital assets are properly identified. Further, I can be your voice during any contested divorce issues, including those related to alimony, child custody, and child support.
Determine child custody and visitation
In all child custody cases, the court follows the “best interests of the child” standard. This means that although the court will consider other factors, such as the child’s preference and the income of the parents, it will ultimately decide based on what would benefit the child the most. There are two types of custody:
- Legal — This type of custody determines who makes important decisions regarding education, religious training, discipline, medical care, and other major issues impacting the child’s life.
- Physical — The parent awarded physical custody provides a home for the child and makes day-to-day decisions about their upbringing.
In many cases, the court strives to order a joint arrangement that allows both parents to be part of a child’s life. However, the court may limit or deny custody or visitation if a parent is deemed a threat or danger to the child.
When determining visitation, the court applies the same “best interests of the child” standard. I have significant experience helping families create clear and comprehensive visitation schedules as well as joint physical and legal custody agreements.
Resolve issues through mediation
Many families turn to mediation because it is informal, cost-effective, and quicker than traditional divorce. Additionally, mediation is considered less emotionally traumatic because families are able to work through their problems before arriving at a mutual agreement. As a licensed mediator, I can help you and your family resolve child custody, visitation, and other domestic issues as amicably and affordably as possible.
Contact an experienced family law attorney in Maryland
The Law Offices of Dawn S. Veltman, LLC is devoted to helping families resolve separation, divorce, alimony, child custody and visitation matters throughout Maryland. Please call 443-400-5248 or contact my firm online to schedule a consultation with me at my Bel Air office.