Family Law

It can be difficult to seek assistance for a family law issue, but problems such as divorces and custody disputes don’t go away on their own. Finding a qualified attorney who can assert your rights while providing compassionate support gives you the best chance to overcome your difficulties and move ahead with confidence. I assist Western Maryland clients with a wide range of family and parenting matters. As a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience and a volunteer dedicated to the well-being of children and families, I am committed to providing honest counsel that makes a lasting, positive difference.

Ending a marriage takes an emotional and financial toll on everyone involved. However, strong legal counsel gives you the best chance to move forward with your rights and well-being intact. As you decide how to proceed, obtaining accurate information and honest counsel is crucial. From the beginning, I’ll help you understand issues such as:

  • Grounds — Spouses can seek a no-fault divorce if they mutually consent to the dissolution or have been separated for at least 12 months. Maryland also allows a couple to use traditional fault grounds such as adultery and desertion. I can examine your circumstances and explain the advantages of each option.
  • Property division — Maryland is an equitable distribution jurisdiction, so the courts determine what is fair when spouses are unable to agree on an allocation of assets, though that does not mean your marital estate has to be divided evenly. I look for creative ways to resolve disputes and delivers strong advocacy if the issue goes before a judge or mediator.
  • Alimony — Most alimony that is ordered after a Maryland divorce is meant to provide payments to a recipient spouse as they become able to support themselves financially. If this is a concern in your case, I will advise you on the pertinent factors that are reviewed in these determinations.

I never forget how disruptive a divorce can be to every aspect of your life, so I work to ease your burden by providing flexible hours and cost-effective rates.

Judges decide custody and visitation issues based on what is in the best interests of the child. However, reaching a decision can be stressful and complicated. Whenever possible, my firm makes every effort to settle questions of decision-making authority, residence and visitation through effective negotiation instead of litigation. If appropriate residential arrangements cannot be established through consensus, I will prepare a thorough case that addresses factors such as parental fitness, your children’s routine, and their preference if they are at a mature enough age to make a thoughtful choice. If the other parent is awarded physical custody, my firm drafts and negotiates comprehensive visitation agreements that address issues such as holiday time and transportation.

Even if you and your spouse have significant conflicts over key issues, mediation can serve as an effective way to settle your differences. As a trained mediator, I have seen how this process enables couples to maintain control over their divorce and work things out on their own terms while saving time and expense. It is important to remember that you and your partner will be bound by your divorce order, possibly for the rest of your lives. An arrangement that reflects contributions from each party will encourage compliance going forward.

Please call (240)446-7255, email me at [email protected], or contact me online to schedule a free initial consultation at my Hagerstown office.