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Maryland Family Lawyer

Maryland Family Lawyer

Family law matters, such as divorce, child custody, child support, asset division, and spousal maintenance, can be emotionally charged and overwhelming. The decisions made in these cases can have a lasting impact on your future and the well-being of your children. When facing such challenges, seeking guidance from a skilled family lawyer in Maryland is crucial.

Understanding your legal rights and the family court system is essential for making informed decisions. A knowledgeable family law attorney can protect your rights, provide valuable guidance, and help you navigate the complexities of your case. By working with experienced legal counsel, you can increase your chances of achieving your desired outcomes in family court.

At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, our team of Maryland family attorneys is dedicated to assisting clients in a wide range of family law matters. With offices in Chevy Chase and serving a seven-county area in Maryland, including Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, Montgomery County, and Frederick County, we are well-positioned to provide the support and representation you need.

Why Choose Us?

  • We take your side, always.
  • Recognized as an 5000 firm, we pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients.
  • With our team of award-winning attorneys, your needs and desired outcomes are our unwavering focus throughout the handling of your family law case.
  • We make it a priority to truly understand your unique situation, allowing us to provide exceptional and personalized legal expertise.
  • During initial consultations, we offer answers and peace of mind.
  • With our unwavering commitment to top-notch customer service, we strive to create positive overall experiences, even during complex family law cases.
  • Each lawyer in our prestigious law firm possesses the skills of an aggressive litigator and a fierce negotiator. We view every family law case as an opportunity to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome, and our highly talented and versatile attorneys are dedicated to making that happen.
  • Our reputation is reflected in the numerous positive online reviews we have received on platforms such as Birdeye and

Get in touch with our office today at (866) 465-5395 to schedule a consultation.

Legal Representation in Maryland

At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, we prioritize your needs above all else. We firmly believe that exceptional legal representation entails delivering the best possible outcomes while always putting our clients first. Our dedicated team is committed to providing top-notch legal assistance, reducing anxiety and emotional stress throughout the process. We genuinely care about your well-being, the well-being of your children, and their security.

While keeping a watchful eye on litigation expenses, we strive to offer the most effective and winning legal strategies without stretching your budget. When settlement is a viable option, which is often the case, we excel as negotiators, securing generous settlements for our clients without the need for a courtroom battle. However, in situations where settlement is unfavorable or impossible, our experienced attorneys are ready to fight vigorously for your best interests.

Ultimately, our goal is to develop the most tailored and advantageous legal strategies for each case, always avoiding approaches that would put you or your loved ones at a disadvantage. Our team of Maryland family attorneys is prepared, responsive, and driven to achieve your goals from beginning to end.

Types of Family Law Cases in Maryland

There are various types of family law cases that individuals may encounter in Maryland. Whether you need to establish a new court order or modify an existing one, a dedicated family lawyer can assist you. Some examples of these cases include:

  • Divorce: Our skilled lawyers will fight aggressively on your behalf in all areas of divorce, including child support, spousal support, child custody, and property division. We also handle a wide array of divorce cases with special considerations, including divorce with difficult personalities, active military, federal employees, business owners, and complex assets.
  • Child support: We are fully conversant with the Maryland family law regarding child support. Whether you receive or pay support, we will work hard to protect your rights.
  • Child custody: Whether you are going through a legal separation and have child custody concerns or are looking to modify a family court order, we can help. Let our tried-and-tested family law attorneys protect your and your children’s interests.
  • Property division: We can help you and your spouse divide assets fairly among yourselves. If you’re yet to tie the knot, our capable family attorneys can help craft a prenuptial agreement that outlines your interests, obligations, and rights in case of the unfortunate event of separation. And if you have already exchanged the ‘to love and to cherish, for better for worse’ vows, we can help draft an amicable postnuptial agreement.
  • Spousal support/Alimony: If there’s one aspect of family law that requires superb negotiation skills, it is alimony. Our attorneys will do everything they can to guide you to a positive resolution. And if you think your partner is undeserving of alimony payments, we will help defend you against them.

Maryland Family Laws: A Comprehensive Overview

Family law in Maryland, like in any other state, encompasses a range of statutes and legal authorities that govern the rights, finances, and responsibilities of a family. At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, we understand that your family is at the heart of your life.

With decades of experience, our compassionate and knowledgeable family attorneys have been successfully guiding clients through the complexities of Maryland family law. You don’t have to face these challenges alone.

1. Divorce Laws

Under the Maryland Divorce Laws, as outlined in code section Fam. Law §7-101-103, at least one spouse must be a Maryland resident for a divorce petition to be accepted. If the grounds for divorce occurred outside the state’s jurisdiction, one of you must have resided in Maryland for at least six months before filing for divorce. Grounds for divorce may include incurable insanity, cruelty, desertion, and adultery.

It’s important to note that Maryland recognizes “no-fault” divorce, as explained in our article on “no-fault” divorce. In a no-fault divorce, there is no need to prove or allege any specific wrongdoing to be granted a divorce. You only need to demonstrate to the court that you and your partner have been separated voluntarily for 12 months or involuntarily for two years.

2. Child Custody Laws

Maryland does not have specific rules on who automatically receives custody of the children. The law does not favor either the father or mother. Instead, the guiding principle for determining custody is the “best interest of the child,” which is consistent with many other states.

In Maryland, there are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody can be jointly held by both parents or one partner may be awarded full physical custody. Legal custody involves making major life decisions for a minor, such as religious affiliation, medical treatments, and education.

3. Child Support Laws

Both parents have a legal obligation to support their children, even if they are legally separated or divorced. Child support in Maryland is calculated based on the combined adjusted income of both parents, regardless of employment status. The law requires the payment of child support based on potential income.

4. Spousal Support Laws

In Maryland, alimony can only be awarded before the final termination of the marriage. If spousal support is not claimed during the divorce proceedings, it cannot be pursued after the marriage has ended.

There is no fixed formula to calculate alimony in Maryland. Courts have broad discretion and consider various factors to ensure a fair award. If both spouses agree on the duration, amount, and type of alimony, they can negotiate the terms during a settlement meeting, subject to approval by the judge or magistrate.

5. Asset Division

Maryland follows an “equitable distribution” guideline, rather than the “community property” system. This means that the court is not bound by law to divide assets equally between partners but aims to divide them in a manner that is fair to both parties.

Whether you require assistance with property division, alimony, child support, child custody, divorce, or any other family-related matter, our Maryland family attorneys are just a phone call away! Let us bring clarity to your situation amidst the chaos.

Maryland Family Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it true that Maryland local courts would prefer not to hear your divorce case?

Yes. The court would rather have parties in a divorce attempt to solve the case themselves. Family law tussles are, for obvious reasons, the most time-consuming to litigate and most difficult to solve. Nearly all courts in Maryland have come up with requirements that prompt spouses to get involved and set their own divorce rules. In most cases, you and your spouse, alongside your respective lawyers, will attend some meeting or conference with a third party (usually a mediator or arbitrator) to try and work out issues regarding alimony and division of assets.

How do the courts in Maryland determine a parent’s visitation access?

If you are the physical noncustodial parent, the court will award you limitless visitation access, as long as you don’t interrupt the kid’s daily activities. If you and your partner have been using an access plan that has been working great, the courts will take that plan and adopt it as an order. Ultimately, the court is free to make any visitation determination. So long as it’s in the kid’s best interest.

Can one parent deny visitation if the other parent doesn’t pay child support?

The failure to pay child support is not grounds for denying a parent visitation rights. The two issues are considered separate by Maryland law. If child support is not being paid, the custodial parent should consult their lawyer for legal recourse rather than deny visitation.

How are assets divided in a divorce in Maryland?

In Maryland, the court follows the rule of ‘equitable distribution’ when dividing marital property in a divorce. This means the court will divide the assets fairly, though not necessarily equally, considering factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial contributions, and each spouse’s future financial needs.

What is the process of getting a divorce in Maryland?

The process of getting a divorce in Maryland involves several steps starting with filing a Complaint for Absolute Divorce and serving your spouse with the papers. You may need to attend a scheduling conference and a hearing in court. The process can be complex and lengthy, depending on the circumstances of your case. It’s recommended to engage the services of a divorce attorney to guide you through the process.

What are the laws regarding child custody in Maryland?

In Maryland, courts make child custody decisions based on what they believe is in the child’s best interest. Several factors are considered such as the child’s age, the parents’ capacity to communicate and reach shared decisions, the child’s relationship with each parent, and each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs. Joint custody is considered where possible, but the ultimate decision rests with the court.

Seek Family Law Support From an Award-Winning Firm

Handling family law cases can be intricate, expensive, and emotionally draining without the right legal representation by your side. At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, we provide top-of-the-line, responsive legal assistance with a family-oriented approach. Whether it’s a high net-worth divorce or a high-stakes child custody issue, we approach each case with equal attention, skill, and expertise.

What sets us apart is that we aren’t just another Maryland law firm aiming to fill the numbers. Our attorneys take pride in their approachability, casualness, and prestige, which distinguishes us among Maryland’s family attorneys. We are real people with real solutions to your family problems. Our numerous accolades and nationwide recognition over the years testify to our commitment.

As a distinguished honoree of the prestigious Inc.5000 list, our firm places your family as our top priority. Allow us to guide you and your children towards a better place of character, confidence, and peace of mind. Contact us today at (866) 465-5395, and we assure you won’t be disappointed.

Looking for Answers? We’ve Got You Covered!

As one of the highest-rated law firms in Maryland, our pledge remains consistent: to provide our clients with high-quality, well-thought-out answers whenever they need them. We understand that having answers empowers you to make informed and intelligent decisions regarding the stability, well-being, and safety of you and your children.

We invite you to take the first step in protecting your family by scheduling an initial consultation with one of our team members today. Why leave your future to chance when you can secure it today? Let our Maryland family lawyers be the missing piece in your family law puzzle. It all starts with a call!

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

Jennifer A.

My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

David R.

My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Caitlin B.

Serving Clients at the Following Locations

Philadelphia1845 Walnut Street 19th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103(215) 523-6900view details
Montgomery County516 DeKalb Street Suite C Norristown, PA 19401(610) 924-2870view details
Doylestown123 N Broad Street, Doylestown, PA 18901(267) 938-4480view details
Abington1147 Easton Road, Abington PA 19001(610) 890-4833view details
West Chester203 W. Chestnut St., Suite 204
West Chester, PA. 19380
(610) 431-4012view details
Princeton475 Wall St, Suite 214, Princeton, NJ 08540 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (609) 917 9560 view details
Linwood210 New Road #15 Linwood, NJ 08221 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (609) 375-0351 view details
Parsippany8 Campus Dr, Parsippany, NJ 07054 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (973) 310-5320 view details
Covington1148 Washington St SW, Covington, GA 30014(678) 730-6310view details
Bethesda4800 Hampden Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda MD 20814(301) 234-7409view details
Maryland5425 Wisconsin Ave Chevy Chase, MD 20815(301) 889-8085view details
ChicagoTwo Prudential Plaza 180 North Stetson Suite 3500 Chicago, IL 60601(312) 252-2085view details
Schaumburg1750 E. Golf Rd, Suite 382 Schaumburg, IL 60173(630) 491-9670view details
Texas500 W 2nd St Suite 1900 Austin, TX 78701(512) 883-1684view details
Washington DC1717 K Street NW, Suite 900 Washington DC 20006(202) 519-0366view details
Denver7900 E. Union Ave. Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80237(720) 821-6440view details