Full Service - From Start to Finish
Offering a Full Compliment of Divorce Services — From Start to Finish
Brian Sadur & Donny Knepper are Family Law and Divorce Lawyers based in Rockville Maryland that have over 30 years of combined experience in the field of law. They fight to gain the best possible outcome for their clients’ situation.
The first decision you will need to make is whether your divorce will be what is considered contested or uncontested. A contested divorce is a divorce where there are disagreements as to the terms of divorce. An uncontested divorce is a divorce where there are no disagreements as to the terms of the divorce and the parties essentially just need the divorce to be put on the record.
Once you have determined your divorce is going to be contested you need to determine whether you have grounds for a divorce and what sort of strategy you might take. These are the sort of questions that can be answered with the help of an attorney like Brian Sadur or Donny Knepper. Depending on the level of communication with the opposing party, they might decide upon a range of strategies that include various levels of engagement and/or negotiation. The typical strategies in a divorce case range from, collaboration, mediation, or the last case scenario, litigation.
Next you must determine whether you have achieved grounds for a divorce. The grounds for an absolute divorce in Maryland are as follows:
- Desertion for 12 months without interruption;
- 12-month separation, when the spouses have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months without interruption;
- Cruelty of treatment toward the complaining spouse or a minor child of the complaining spouse;
- Excessively vicious conduct toward the complaining spouse or a minor child of the complaining party;
- Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor if the defendant has been sentenced to serve at least 3 years or an indeterminate sentence in a penal institution; and defendant has served 12 months of the sentence;
- Insanity resulting in at least 3 years confinement in a mental institution, hospital, or other similar institution , and certain other requirement have been met.
- Traditional & most common approach
- Each individual hires own attorney who files case with the court and obtains court orders regarding custody, support & property division
- Attorneys may attempt to resolve case amicably out of court but will quickly ramp up the courts involvement if a settlement is not reached quickly
- Often results in significant litigation and the case going to trial
- Approach involves a number of legal processes that may require appearance in or out of court by an attorney including: discovery, depositions, temporary custody arrangements, motions, pretrial & trial.
- Involves neutral third party that meets with the parties to attempt to reach an agreement
- Third party is not a decision-maker — simply facilitates
- Parties have the option of bringing their own attorney in addition to the mediator
- Not recommended with cases where communication has broken down and compromises unable to be achieved
- Attorneys make commitment to attempt to avoid court at all costs
- Clients share cost of outside experts like an appraisers, evaluator or best interest attorney
- Generally works best when clients are still able to work together and compromise
- More modern approach that seeks to limit the stress of a divorce to the parties
Litigation is the most traditional and common approach for dealing with divorces. Each party hires their own attorney who will file documents with the court on behalf of the client. These documents include the initial complaint, motions, and other legal documents in the hopes of achieving court orders that are favorable for their client. Elements of a typical divorce case include but are no limited to: custody, support, and property division. Most family law attorneys will make an attempt to resolve most of their new cases by settlement but once there are protracted negotiations and resources spent on the case it usually becomes more and more likely the case will end up going all the way to trial. Here at our office we generally have a conversation with our clients regarding what kind of approach they would like us to take and go from there. If our clients would prefer we try to reach an amicable solution quickly then we will have that kind of goal in mind. Other clients come to us fed up with trying to find a solution and warn us ahead of time that they feel that it will be necessary to fight for their case aggressively from the very beginning.