Compassionate Support Through Family Law
The law firm of Wampler & Souder, LLC, provides experienced, aggressive and compassionate legal services for people in need of a family law attorney. We are well-educated in understanding the intricacies of the Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia divorce laws, facilitating successful outcomes for many clients. Furthermore, we maintain a continual education program that is designed to ensure our legal staff is educated on new legislation affecting our clients as it is passed into law.
Our attorneys are extraordinarily skilled in dealing with a wide range of family law matters from general petitions, to sophisticated legal motions. These capabilities include child custody, child support, alimony, retirement rights, real property, personal property, and business evaluation.
A Commitment To Helping Our Clients
In addition, your Wampler & Souder lawyer will bring unique skill sets in the art of drafting strong separation agreements, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, pairing agreements, and cohabitation agreements.
We believe it is our job to educate and inform each of our clients about all of their legal rights regarding their family law issues, including:
- Divorce and matters of complex property division
- Divorce for older or retired individuals (often called gray divorce)
- Legal documents such as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Matters of spousal support, also known as alimony
- Issues regarding families, including child custody, visitation and child support matters
- Adoptions, including stepparent adoptions
- Fathers’ rights cases
Furthermore, it is the job of each of our seasoned attorneys to anticipate and educate our clients on potential issues that might arise in the future, whether it be one month down the road, six months down the road, or even six years down the road. Of course, in the end, it is up to our clients to determine if a settlement can be reached or if a trial becomes a necessity.
Our goal is to produce an agreement that represents and incorporates all of our clients’ desires without having to incur what can sometimes be highly expensive litigation and attorney fees. However, if your matter cannot be resolved with a settlement, we are ready to aggressively and competently represent you in all of your legal rights.
Family Law: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
Starting your case, the legal system can feel overwhelming. Our family law attorneys make sure that you have the information you need to make the right decisions for you and your family. Below, we provide answers to a few commonly asked questions about family law. However, we encourage you to contact our firm with all additional questions and concerns.
Is alimony awarded in every Maryland divorce?
Spousal support payments are not awarded in every divorce, and there is no set standard of how much will be paid if it is awarded.
Family courts evaluate many factors to determine alimony payments such as the length of the marriage, age of each spouse, their education and standard of living. In most cases that alimony is awarded, it is only paid for a set period of time.
I can no longer afford my child support payments. Can I stop my payments?
You cannot stop your court-ordered child support payments without an official order modification. To request a change, you must file a written motion and submit it to the family law court that completed the original order.
You can only modify your existing order if your financial circumstances have materially changed since it was first written. There must be a compelling reason, such as a recent job loss, for the modification to be accepted.
As a grandparent, can I seek legal custody of my grandchildren?
Typically, the court awards custody rights to a child’s biological parents unless there is significant evidence that this is not in the child’s best interest. Drug abuse, alcoholism, abandonment and domestic violence may all be cited as reasons why the child’s parents cannot look after them at this time.
How are child custody arrangements determined in Maryland?
The court aims to do what is in the child’s best interests. They evaluate many factors to determine this, including, but not limited to, the following:
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- Who the primary care giver has been up until this time
- Each parent’s character
- Whether an arrangement will allow the child to maintain their family relationships
- The child’s preference (in some cases)
- Financial resources
- Age and health of the child
- History of domestic violence, drug abuse, alcoholism or abandonment
- Proximity to the child’s established school
Can my ex-spouse relocate to another residence with our child?
If the child’s other parent would like to relocate, they will either need your permission or an official court order. The moving spouse must provide the other parent and the family law court with written documentation of their intent to move at least 90 days ahead of their scheduled departure.
The letter of intent should include their new address, phone number (if it is changing) and why they would like to relocate. If you agree to the move, submit a written agreement to the court. If you do not agree to the move, you have 20 days to file a petition with the court to block the move. A judge will hear both sides of the argument in a hearing and determine what outcome is in the child’s best interests.
How is marital property divided in a Maryland divorce?
Maryland follows an “equitable distribution” system for dividing marital property during divorce. This allows the divorcing spouses (or the family law court) to determine a fair, if not necessarily equal, split in assets.
The court will evaluate how much each spouse contributed to the marriage, earning potential and the factors that led to the divorce to help them determine a fair split of assets.
What will happen to our family home in divorce?
Your family’s unique situation and preferences can impact what will happen to your house during divorce. The court may have you sell the house and split the proceeds, or a Maryland judge may transfer ownership to a single spouse.
If it is important to you to keep your house, tell your divorce attorney that it is a top priority for you. Keep in mind that it may be harder to afford your mortgage payments without the other spouse’s financial contributions.
Schedule A Consultation With Us Today
Our attorneys are eager to discuss your situation with you and determine how we can help. Call us to set up a consultation at 301-732-7675 today, or you can email us your contact information online. We have offices in Frederick, Silver Spring and Upper Marlboro.