No one gets married thinking that sometime in the future they will be searching the internet for a divorce lawyer. Unfortunately, it happens more often than not in today's world. Divorce is a complicated legal process that is often filled with answers that are grey and not clearly defined. At James K. Reed, P.A., we have been representing divorce clients in Maryland and Pennsylvania for more than 25 years. We work with clients individually, becoming familiar with their issues and needs. We seek to provide guidance and clarity to our clients. No two divorce cases are exactly alike. Common divorce issues are grounds for divorce, custody, division of marital property, alimony, alimony pendente lite, spousal support, attorney fees and costs.
There are divorce issues unique to our times. Many homes are "under water." We will assist you in understanding the issues raised by devalued homes and how to potentially resolve those issues. There are tax considerations in almost every divorce, especially as it relates to alimony, spousal support, and tax deductions for the children. Our firm collaborates with accountants and other professionals to properly assess the special issues created by divorce. Regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference, our firm will represent you fairly and professionally. The actual process of obtaining a divorce is set forth below:
- Maryland: Most divorce cases are resolved through mediation. In Maryland, there is no waiting period to obtain a consent divorce as long as all economic issues are resolved and there are no children. If there are children, the parties must be separated for one year. If the case is not resolved through negotiation between the parties or mediation, the matter will go to trial before a Judge in the Circuit Court of the appropriate county. In a contested case, divorce issues, custody issues, and support issues are handled in one case.
- Pennsylvania: Contrary to Maryland, Pennsylvania does not mediate divorce cases. Instead, lawyers often engage in settlement conferences with the parties in order to bring about a non-judicial resolution. There is a ninety-day waiting period after a divorce complaint is filed and served before it can be finalized. If the case is not resolved through negotiation, the case will be submitted before the standing Master for presentment of evidence. The Master will issue a findings and recommendation report to the Court. The parties are permitted to comment on the findings and recommendation and present their arguments to a Judge. It is common practice to handle divorce, custody and support issues in separate cases.
Our firm practices divorce law in Pennsylvania in both Franklin and Fulton counties. We also represent clients for divorce in Maryland in the following counties: Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your case.