Separation and divorce can be disrupting and difficult time in your life, filled with doubt, fear, and uncertainty. However, with the help and support, of The Enekwe Law Center, LLC., it does not have to be. When terminating your marriage, we can help you:
through the legal process, clarifying the particularities associated with the facts of your particular case.
An absolute divorce officially ends the marriage. Once a decree of absolute divorce is issued and entered by the court, the parties are free to remarry. With the decree also comes to dissolution of all martial issues of the parties. Matters such as custody, future financial support payments, and retirement and property interests may also be addressed in a divorce decree.
As part of an absolute divorce, a spouse may ask the court to reinstate his or her pre-marital name.
A limited divorce is a legal action where a couple’s separation is supervised by the court. A limited divorce does not end the marriage, it means that the divorce is not permanent. Some people call this legal separation.
A limited divorce can resolve questions of child custody, child support, health insurance coverage and division of personal and real property.
No Fault Grounds
A 12-month separation is a “no fault” ground for absolute divorce. To file on the grounds of a 12-month separation, you must have lived separate and apart without cohabitation, sexual relations, for at least 12 months prior to filing without interruption.
Mutual consent is the second “no fault” ground for absolute divorce. There is no waiting period to file on the ground of mutual consent, so long as you and your spouse can come to a mutual agreement.
Fault Grounds in a divorce may be a factor in determining the right to alimony. Fault Grounds may also be a factor in awarding custody of the children only if the court determines that the behavior had a harmful effect on the children
Adultery is a fault-based ground for divorce. There is also no waiting period for adultery. If you can prove that the offending spouse had both the disposition and the opportunity for intercourse outside of the marriage.
You must prove that your spouse committed adultery, extramarital sexual infidelity, beyond of a reasonable doubt as adultery is misdemeanor offense punishable by a $10 fine.
Adultery may be a factor in determining the right to alimony. It may be a factor in awarding custody of the children only if the court determines that the adulterous behavior had a harmful effect on the children.
Desertion is a fault-based ground for divorce and it may be either an “actual” or "constructive” desertion.
Generally, in actual desertion, the deserting spouse abandons the marital home without justification. In "constructive" desertion, the person who leaves is justified and the court will consider the leaving spouse the deserted one.
Actual Desertion, in general, the deserting spouse abandons the marital home without justification. You will have to show ALL of the following elements, to prove the deserting party’s actual desertion:
Constructive Desertion, also requires proof of the above elements and often also includes the element of cruelty. The court may consider the spouse who remained in the home to have deserted the relationship because of how he or she acted and look to the following factors:
Cruelty of Treatment and Excessively Vicious Conduct, can also be a fault-based ground for divorce and requires no waiting period. The alleging party must show that the conduct endangered their life or health or their minor child, and made cohabitation unsafe. Often, physical abuse is involved, but mental abuse can also be involved.
Conviction of a Crime, is a fault-based ground of divorce. You must show that your spouse:
Insanity, permanent and incurable insanity is a fault-based ground for divorce. You must prove that:
With a few important exceptions, “marital property” is all the property that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. Marital property normally includes things such as your and your spouse’s bank accounts, houses, businesses, cars, furniture, appliances, stocks, bonds, jewelry, pensions, retirement plans, and IRAs acquired during the marriage.
Gifts, gifted to only one of you, from a third party, inheritances, something that you and your spouse agreed would not be marital property, or items bought solely with money from a gift, an inheritance, or money that you agreed was not marital property, are “non-marital property.”
The parties may agree on the division of any property held by them without assistance of the court.
If you and your spouse cannot agree how to divide your property, the court will decide what is marital property, how much that property is worth, and each spouse’s portion. The court will also look at any marital debts (for example, mortgages and credit cards) when determining the value of the marital property.
Alimony is a intermittent payment by one former spouse to the other in order to allow a dependent spouse to become self-supporting.
Alimony may be given either:
Alimony awards may be modified, if circumstances have significantly changed.
Child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship. Child support covers the basic necessities of the minor child, including food, clothing, shelter, medical expenses, tuition, childcare, transportation/travel, entertainment, and extracurricular activities.
In Maryland, a minor child is entitled to support until the child is either emancipated by judicial order, turns 18 years old, or turns 19 years old, if the minor is still in high school. In determining child support, the Courts use the Maryland Child Support Guidelines which consider a variety of factors including but not limited to:
Divorce can be a complicated, draining and expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. Attorney Enekwe can assist you regardless of whether your matter involves consent or is highly contested. She and her staff will make sure that you keep informed all matters that arise in your divorce matters. Working with an experienced family law attorney guarantees that you will understand all the circumstances involving your case.
Together you and Attorney Enekwe will develop a strategy for your divorce matter. Attorney Enekwe will zealously protect your rights in court and offer support and advocacy every step of the way. Chika Enekwe, Esq., is a well-established and highly-regarded Maryland divorce attorney serving: