Divorce Lawyers in Baltimore, MD Protecting the Rights of Men in Divorce
Divorce sucks! Especially if you have children. Especially if you and your spouse are fighting. When there is fighting, not only is it expensive, but it is also not under your control. It requires that you either reach an agreement with your spouse or a judge will decide for you. If you believe that you will end up in a trial, then it is best to prepare to win as far in advance as possible. You can only win if you control the evidence and anticipate what the Judge wants and what the Judge is likely to do.
Men need to prepare for trial differently than women. The judicial bias often experienced in our courtrooms makes it more likely that men will not get a fair shake when it comes to custody of the children and when it comes to paying the spouse alimony. Only by anticipating the bias can you effectively combat it.
At Paré & Associates, LLC (formerly the Law Office of Alice Paré), we collectively have more than 50 years of experience. We successfully secure sole and joint physical custody of the children for our Dad clients. At this firm, we believe that fathers are as important as mothers for the healthy development of children.
Understanding the differences between mothers and fathers in child-rearing and emphasizing the strength of a father’s unique relationship with his children is the key to success in custody matters. Our divorce attorneys employ a strategy that includes analyzing what would happen if the sexes were reversed and illuminating bias against men, which is an effective approach to obtaining more favorable alimony results.
To learn more about your rights or schedule a consultation, contact Paré & Associates, LLC at 301-515-1190.
How Are Men’s Needs Different in a Divorce?
Divorce is a complicated, unfortunate, and emotional process. The challenges that men often deal with throughout the divorce process are different than the challenges that are usually encountered by women. This is so because society is still set up with men and women assuming different roles in their family life. If not anticipated and handled correctly, the division of duties can play to the advantage of women throughout the divorce process.
This phenomenon is called “gender bias.” And as a man, you should be worried about gender bias in the court system.
You may be fearful of losing your children, being falsely accused, or just scared at the prospect of not getting a fair hearing. Knowing that the Courts react differently to men and women is the first step to addressing and conquering gender bias. The next step is to identify each issue that the court will consider when to address your divorce and custody matters, and then break down each issue and look at the differences and make a plan on how to neutralize any advantage your wife or child’s mother may have. For example, if your wife typically picked the children up from school, brought them home, gave them dinner, and did homework – that would play to her advantage.
To neutralize that advantage, you identify what you do with your children that their mother does not do and explain the importance of it. And, of course, explain that you know how to cook, are involved with the school and education of your children, and would love the opportunity to pick them up after work from school or daycare.
Children do not only need nurture; they need development as well. Moms help children develop differently than Dads. In order for your child to grow into a well-balanced adult, both relationships are necessary. Your trial approach must anticipate and respond to the differences, always pointing to the strengths that a father’s bond has with the child.
We understand the challenges that men face in family law issues and will work with you to understand your situation and develop the best course of action for you. If you are uncertain where to turn, we are here to help. Based in Germantown, Maryland, and helping clients throughout Maryland for more than thirty years, we are an experienced family law firm that stands up for your rights.
As an individual, you deserve to be treated fairly in every aspect of the divorce process – and you need an attorney that understands you and the unique situation that men face when dealing with the court system.
Do I Need a Separation Agreement Before I Leave the Home?
Entering into a well-crafted Marital Separation Agreement (MSA) is the only certain way to protect your interests regarding your children, property division, and support obligation. The MSA should identify all issues arising from the dissolution of the marriage and define what will happen. For example, the MSA should spell out in detail:
- where the children will sleep every night of the year
- how holidays will be shared
- what will happen over summer and winter break
The agreement should define who pays what expenses, who will transport the children to and from visits, and who will make medical decisions. The agreement should orchestrate who gets what from the content of the marital home, whether and how retirement assets will be divided, and so on.
If you leave the marital home before you enter into an MSA, then you are giving up your advantage. Consider, at the end of the marriage, all you want to do is get away from your spouse. Your spouse probably feels the same way. If you are the one planning to exit the marriage, and your spouse wants you to leave, then make leaving something that your spouse has to bargain for. If you leave without a signed MSA you give up this advantage.
If you want custody of your children and you are planning to be the one who leaves the house, you will be even more significantly disadvantaged if you leave first. Children typically resist change. There is a strong likelihood that they want to be with “mom” because “mom” remains in “their” home. If you enter into an agreement before you leave, then you can help your children better deal with change – your new home can be an adventure and a positive experience if handled correctly.
What are Legal Grounds for Divorce in Maryland?
In Maryland, there are two types of divorce, limited and absolute. Limited divorce specifies certain rights for both the parties but does not allow the final division of properties, including retirement funds and pension money, and also does not permit remarriage. In the event of absolute divorce, all the rights are determined, including the obligations and division of properties.
Grounds for granting a limited divorce:
- Separation – this means the spouses do not live in the same house
- Cruel treatment of one spouse and/or the children
- Excessively vicious conduct
Grounds for granting an absolute divorce:
- The deliberate and final action of desertion for 12 months without interruption and no reasons for reconciliation
- Both the parties have been living separately, without cohabitation for 12 months, and there is no reason for reconciliation
- Both the parties have been living separately and apart without cohabitation and interruption for two years
- Cruel treatment of one spouse and/or the children and there is no reason for reconciliation
- Excessive vicious conduct of one spouse towards other or minor children, and there is no reconciliation is expected
- If one party is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in any state or court in the USA, and the party is sentenced to 3 years, and the party is serving 12 months of the sentence
- Incurable insanity of one party for the last three years before filing the complaint. Two psychiatrists submit the proof, and the party has been a resident of Maryland for at least 2 years before filing the complaint.
How Do I File for Divorce in Maryland?
In Maryland, the divorce process starts when one party files the proper paperwork with the circuit court. One of those parties must have lived in Maryland for at least six months for the circuit court to be able to approve it. This requirement often delays the divorce, so make sure to establish proper residency before applying for a divorce in Maryland. Once you’re ready to file for divorce, everyone must fill out two forms:
- The Complaint for Absolute Divorce (for the party who is filing) or the Counter-Complaint for Absolute Divorce (for the party responding to the complaint); and
- The Domestic Case Information report.
These forms give the court a basic summary of the relationship and how the divorce should proceed. Information may include how many kids you have, how much money you’re requesting from your spouse, the grounds for the divorce, and a good amount of other details. The way you fill out this form will determine the other forms that will be required to complete for the court. While it’s not required to enlist the help of an attorney to file for divorce, this process can quickly overwhelm divorce filers. A trusted lawyer will ensure each form is filled out correctly and on time, as well as represent you in court if it were to eventually come to that.
How Does Paré & Associates Help Men in Divorce?
Due to the gender bias of the court system, men need special representation in a divorce. At Paré & Associates, we protect the rights of men in divorce, child custody, and alimony proceedings throughout Germantown, Clarksburg, Damascus, Rockville, Kentlands, Poolesville, Boyds, Bethesda, and throughout Montgomery County. Our goal is to help you win custody and avoid alimony in your divorce. We understand the ways that men are taken advantage of in divorce, and we are here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Meeting with a trusted law firm is the first step to completing a fast, fair, and relatively stress-free divorce. At Paré & Associates, LLC, we understand what men face in the divorce process, and we are prepared to stand by your side to help you build a strong case in support of your future. Whether you are considering divorce or need to make a modification with your ex regarding a custody schedule, our Baltimore divorce attorneys have the experience and resources to protect your interests. Call our office today at 301-515-1190 to schedule a consultation and learn how to proceed with your divorce and how our firm focuses on the rights of men.