Forestville, MD Office

(301) 420-5540

Upper Marlboro, MD Office

(301) 358-3842

 

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Wills & Power of Attorney

Although Maryland law regards wills and powers of attorney as separate documents, both create rights and responsibilities for different parties. Both create a mechanism for one person to legally act on behalf of another and both have specific provisions under Maryland law that they must meet to be valid. A will is a legal document that describes how the person drafting the document wants to have their assets and property disposed of when he/she dies. The will appoints an executor who distributes the assets on behalf of the decedent. If someone dies without a will, they are considered intestate and Maryland...

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Adult Guardianship

As adults get older, many of them are not able to make decisions for themselves due to Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, a stroke, an accident or some other serious medical condition. If someone is no longer able to make important decisions for themselves, a judge will appoint a “guardian” to make those decisions. Those decisions have the legal backing of the court. The court will determine disability if two physicians have determined, in writing, that a person is unable to make or communicate responsible decisions, the person is in need of protection, or there are no less restrictive...

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Legal Custody or Physical Custody

Legal or Physical Custody - Upper Marlboro MD Divorce Attorney Child custody cases involve many different steps and it’s always best to consult with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through it. There are no set rules on who will be getting custody of children but the rule of thumb is whatever is in the best interest of the child. In Maryland there are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make major life decisions for the child such as medical treatment, religious affiliation and education. Parties can jointly hold legal custody...

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Maryland Mediation & Conflict Resolution

Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution office was created to promote the availability and use of alternative dispute resolution throughout Maryland. They do this in a variety of ways such as collaborating with courts, ADR practitioner organizations and other stakeholders to advance the field of conflict resolution. They also provide grants and technical assistance to support court, community, school and universities and government ADR programs and projects. They provide training and presentations to courts, bar associations, and other organizations and groups for skill enhancement, professional growth, ethics matters and public information and awareness. They work to improve the quality of mediation...

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Guardianship Law

A legal guardian is someone that takes over day-to-day decision making and control of the child that the natural guardian cannot. The legal guardian will make all parenting decisions including requesting and accepting medical treatment on a child’s behalf, enroll the child in public school in the guardian’s community and provide for the child’s general welfare. Keep in mind this does not include financial responsibility as this still remains with the parents but depending on the parent’s situation, guardians often provide financial support. It’s always best to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you with your specific case....

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Divorce and Military

Divorce is always a very complicated and emotional situation for anyone who has to deal with it. When a couple decides to end their marriage and one spouse is serving in the military, divorce tends to get even more complicated. Make sure to contact an experienced attorney to help you calculate child support, determine child custody, divide retirement benefits and figure out the other complications. In regards to child support, the military has regulations establishing interim child support guidelines and each branch of the service has different child support guidelines. Courts will look at BAH, separate ration, hazard pay, special...

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Maryland Masters System

If you have a family law case in the state of Maryland that involves child custody, visitation, support or alimony, you will likely have to appear before a master. Masters originate from an old tradition when they were originally appointed to act as assistants to the English kings. Today, a master is a hearing officer who takes testimony and makes preliminary rulings and determination. Their recommendations are then submitted to a Judge to be approved or rejected. If neither party takes exceptions to the ruling of the master then a judge will pass an order ratifying the recommendations. Masters also hear...

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Representing Yourself or Hiring an Attorney

It is not uncommon for one or both parties to represent themselves in family law issues. This type of process is called “pro se” and is usually performed because of financial constraints or misconceptions about what attorneys can do. However, it is not a good idea for everyone and it is important to understand you may be missing some fundamental rights by not using an attorney. Nowadays, there are many resources available to those who wish to represent themselves. Maryland court system offers legal advice and help with legal forms in the courthouse. There is also the Women’s Law Center...

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MEDIATION

Mediation is an alternative process to solve family disputes that does not require court involvement. It involves using a neutral third party, the mediator, who will facilitate and assist the parties in coming with their resolution to mutually satisfy all parties. The role of a mediator includes facilitating communication between the parties, assisting in identifying the real issues of the dispute and the parties’ interests, and generating options for settlement. Most people have the ability to solve their own disputes but it’s important to hire a mediator to help facilitate the discussion. Make sure to consult with an experienced Family Law attorney...

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Child Abuse & Neglect

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum: “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation” or “an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm”. Federal legislation sets minimum standards for states and each state is responsible for defining child maltreatment. Definitions of child abuse and neglect are typically divided in either civil statutes or criminal statutes. Civil statutes provide definitions of child maltreatment to guide...

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