Families form the building blocks for society, and the future of society as a whole often rests upon the stability of individual family units. When a divorce or paternity suit tears a family apart, the emotional conflict can take its toll on everyone involved. A competent family law attorney can help you understand your rights, provide effective guidelines to deal with issues and help to resolve conflicts. Our attorneys at the Cuomo Law Firm represent clients in number of family law practice areas that include, but are not limited to, these categories:
The difficulties encountered in divorce are as varied as the people involved. Some degree of strife is usually present in divorce, even when a couple is able to agree on issues and resolve their matters amicably outside of court.
At the Cuomo Law Firm, our attorneys assist clients in approaching divorce in the manner most suited to their situation. We consult with our clients and review the important aspects of their marriage, explain legal options and how the divorce process works as well as ensure that all their questions are answered so they can make informed decisions about how to proceed with handling their divorce. We provide negotiation, mediation, and also take cases to trial when it serves the best interests of our client and is necessary to protect their rights. We hold our client’s matters confidentially and treat them with dignity and respect, giving them the personal attention they deserve.
Pivotal to any child custody arrangement is the consideration for what is best for the child or children. Maryland courts weigh many factors when arriving at child custody decisions, which sometimes include, but are not limited to: the couple’s willingness to share custody, the child’s relationship with parents, the child’s preference, a parent’s employment and financial status, the age of the child, the number of children involved, the child’s ability to be stable in school and socially as well as benefits to the parents. Parental responsibilities are categorized into legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody - the responsibility for making major childrearing decisions such as religious upbringing, education, healthcare, discipline and social activities.
Physical custody - the daily living arrangements and responsibility for physical care including food, clothes, proper hygiene and supervision.
Custody may be joint, where the parents share responsibilities in legal and/or physical custody. On the other hand, custody may be determined as the primary responsibility of one parent, which is called sole custody. In sole custody one parent has legal and/or physical custody of the child, and the child would primarily live with the parent that has sole physical custody. The other parent would be granted rights to visitation.
Child support payments are based on State of Maryland guidelines and calculations that regulate child support. Child support is a monthly payment for the care of the child or children that is paid when parents separate or divorce. Custody arrangements, income, assets, debts, disabilities and state of health of the parents as well as the child’s medical, dental, educational and other expenses are taken into consideration when determining child support.
Having a family law attorney assist and advise you on legally acceptable child support amounts can often expedite your ability to reach a child support agreement and make the whole process go more smoothly. Our attorneys at the Cuomo Law Firm draft child support agreements, negotiate settlements and also represent clients in court when disputes over child support require litigation.
Building a family through adoption brings excitement and the anticipation of childrearing. There are various avenues for adopting, some of which may include the following:
Because the adoption process can involve legal complexities, it is wise to obtain an attorney to avoid difficulties. Experienced in adoption laws, a family law attorney can mean the difference between a rough and drawn out adoption and one that goes smoothly. In any type of adoption there’s no substitute for a knowledgeable lawyer who is sensitive to what is best for the children. The attorneys at the Cuomo Law Firm are able to assist you with your private or stepparent adoption.
In a guardianship, the court awards legal custody of a child to someone other than the child’s biological parents. Guardians may be relatives, friends or people who know the child. The guardian lives with the child and supervises the child’s healthcare, education and social activities, such as after school programs as well as the daily care of the child. A guardianship can last until the child is 18 years of age, or until a different guardian is assigned, or until the guardianship is ended and the child is returned to the parents. Also, in a guardianship, a child remains related to his or her birth parents, unlike adoption, where the parents relinquish their parental relationship as well as legal rights to the child
Paternity refers to establishing the identity of a child’s father. When a child is born both parents can sign an acknowledgement of paternity while the mother is in the hospital, which is the ideal time to establish paternity. Social security benefits, health care, veteran’s benefits as well as child support are based on paternity. Paternity is also vital information to be included in a child’s medical records and may factor into future diagnosis and healthcare for the child.
In the event of divorce, disputes regarding paternity sometimes arise. DNA testing accurately determines parentage and may be required to resolve paternity suits.
At the Cuomo Law Firm, our attorneys represent clients in a variety of family law issues and welcome the opportunity to serve you. Please phone us at 410-675-7900 or contact us directly online to arrange a consultation.CONTACT US