The Process of Separation and Divorce
Facing a divorce is an emotionally stressful time. It may have been a difficult decision for you to make or your partner may have made the decision for both of you. I'm sensitive to my client's needs and can help you sort through the process so you can get through this.
With a strong emphasis on family law issues, including divorce and separation cases in Maryland, I have experience with all matters pertaining to divorce, separation, alimony, support, and custody, as well as many other areas of family law. I can help you make sense of the difficult issues involved in getting a divorce and work with you to protect your interests.
As your attorney, I could guide you through the steps you would need to take before filing for divorce and would be there through the entire process. Contact Law Offices of Gary W. Desper for legal advice and representation regarding your separation / divorce case or other family law matter.
During the separation period, it is important to address financial and child custody issues. It's crucial to have a separation agreement during this time. It should be thorough and concise, spelling out things like how marital property is divided, who gets to live in the house, parenting arrangements, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and how investments and retirement benefits will be handled. Separation agreements are enforceable contracts that are later incorporated into the divorce decree and govern how things are done after the divorce is final. Whether prepared by me or someone else, I will insure that any separation agreement looks after your interests.
Mediation / Arbitration / Simple Negotiation
It is often beneficial for all parties to resolve their divorce dispute through mediation, arbitration, or simple negotiation. Resolving a divorce through alternative dispute resolution often means substantially lower legal fees and the freedom to set the terms of your marriage dissolution, rather than having an impersonal judge set the terms for you. While I always counsel clients that this is their best option financially, it is not always possible to reach such an agreement outside of the courtroom.
An annulment is the legal determination that a marriage did not exist and is an alternative to divorce. It is only granted under very limited circumstances. In Maryland, a marriage can be annulled once you prove you have legal grounds to have your marriage annulled. A marriage can still be annulled if children were born during the marriage. If you would like to have your marriage annulled, contact Gary W. Desper and schedule a consultation to discuss whether you meet Maryland's requirements to have your marriage annulled.
- Failure to have a license or ceremony
- Age - one spouse was under the age of eighteen when they got married and they did not have their parents' consent
- Insanity - one spouse was mentally incapable of getting married
- Intoxication - spouses were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage
- Duress - one spouse was coerced to get married by threats from the other spouse or spouse's loved ones
- Fraud - one spouse defrauded the other with regards to health or well-being to convince them to get married
- Multiple Spouses - one spouse had another living husband or wife at the time of the marriage
- Blood Related - spouses are related by blood
Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPO)
Sometimes when you are going through a separation or divorce, it is necessary obtain a protective restraining order. If you need a protective order, give us a call and I can assist you with filing a protective order against a spouse, partner, or other family member. Also known as a restraining order, a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) prohibits your abuser from trying to contact or communicate with you and bars them from entering or remaining your home.
How Divorce Works in Maryland
There are two types of divorces granted in Maryland; absolute divorce and limited divorce. An absolute divorce terminates the martial contract permanently. A limited divorce is a separation agreement and does not end the marriage. In order to obtain a divorce in Maryland specific requirements must be met. For more information on how divorce works in Maryland, visit our "Divorce How It Works in Maryland" blog page.
Carroll County, MD Divorce Lawyer / Family Law Attorney
Gary W. Desper, Divorce Attorney - (Family Lawyer / Attorney in Westminster, MD), serving Westminster, Eldersburg, Finksburg, Glyndon, Hampstead, Mt Airy, Mount Airy, Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Sykesville, Taneytown, Taylorsville, Boring, and the areas surrounding Carroll and Baltimore Counties.
Contact Law Offices of Gary W. Desper
Mr. Desper is a wonderful attorney and person. I hired Mr. Desper to assist me with a highly contested divorce and custody case and hiring him was the best decision I have ever made. His communication, knowledge and professionalism could not be any better. During the long process I felt like I was his only client and never had any doubt that he was the one for the job. If I ever need an attorney in the future I will not hesitate one bit to hire him again. There really is not enough good I can type here about Mr. Desper, if you need an attorney hire him and you will know how I feel. Dawn is awesome too!
--- Josh R.
Gary assisted me with finalizing a divorce that should have ended two years ago. Throughout the process, he was very professional as well as approachable. Any questions I had, he was prompt in responding even though he had a number of other clients. His assistance and knowledge of the law made this process largely unstressful and straightforward. I would highly recommend his services to anyone in the area seeking a lawyer.
--- Jon B.
Gary was great with assisting with my divorce. Always reassured me that things will be good and will all work out. He's very trustworthy, he also provided alot of informational things that I never knew about that would help me, I'm very pleased with his service.
--- Jennifer H.
Gary Desper is a rare, sparkling gem in the sometimes clouded world of litigation!
I walked into his office a total stranger, but walked out feeling as though I was part of his family! Like someone finally understood the tourtuos road that I was forced to be on, and has my back!
I have been dealing with a bitter, vindictive EX that abuses the legal system for some time now. And, unfortunately, we share a daughter. The EX constantly starts trouble with lies to law enforcement, as well as her lies to officers of the court; to the point where I just couldnt handle it alone anymore and needed help.
I live in Baltimore County, but had to find a Carroll County attorney. Which, scared me to no end because of a horrible experience that I had with a totally different lawyer in the past. Then I found Gary Desper...
Gary Desper was very different. He really does treat you like family. He was courteous, friendly, and very sympathetic to my situation! If Gary tells you that he will do something, he gets it done! And, he gets it done excatly how he explains it!
Thank you Gary!
--- Wes P.
Gary Desper is a rare find in the legal community. I've been through three divorces in my life, in three states, with three lawyers. While the first two lawyers I worked with were ready to sue at the drop of a hat, he has continually counseled agreement, mutual concessions, and working things out between myself and my ex for the benefit of our children. I've had to deal with some terrible situations with my ex, and he has been there to keep me focused on the family and the long-term outcome, even when I came to him angry and he stood to make a lot of money exploiting my emotional state.
His core focus on the actual best interests of his clients has been unique in my experiences with lawyers, and I've always found that he was right. I ended up getting everything I wanted without having to spend years fighting it out in court by taking his advice and recommendations.
He's also fast, responsive, and effective, well-versed in the law and the court processes. His skill, talent, and wisdom have served me and my family well every time I've had to turn to him for representation. I can't recommend him, and his counsel, enough.
--- Joshua G.
Gary helped guide me through through the separation process and really did an excellent job of looking out for my best interests and the interests of my children. He was very thorough and the marriage settlement agreement that I have is something I am very happy with. Through his counsel I was able to avoid a court battle and save tens of thousands of dollars.
--- Andrew E.
READ MORE TESTIMONIALS . . .
Maryland Legal Services:
Carroll County Attorney Legal Services
Carroll County Attorney Serving: Alesia, Carrollton, Carrolltowne (21784), Detour, Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Frizzelburg (21158), Gamber (21048), Gaither, Greenmount, Hampstead (21074), Harney, Henryton, Jasontown, Keymar, Lineboro, Linwood, Louisville, Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Middleburg, Millers, Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Uniontown, Westminster (21157, 21158), and Woodbine (21797).
Baltimore County Attorney Legal Services
Baltimore County Attorney Serving: Catonsville (21228), Cockeysville (21030), Glyndon (21071), Granite (21163), Homeland (21212), Lutherville (21093), Milford Mill (21244), Monkton (21111), Mount Washington (21209), Owings Mills (21117), Parkton (21120), Phoenix (21131), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Roland Park (21210), Ruxton (21204), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204, 21252, 21284, 21285, 21286), Upperco (21155), and Woodstock (21163).
Frederick County Attorney Legal Services
Frederick County Attorney Serving: Adamstown (21710), Ballenger Creek (21703), Bartonsville (21704), Bonosboro, Braddock Heights (21714), Brunswick (21716), Buckeystown (21717), Burkittsville (21718), Clover Hill (21702), Discovery (21793), Emmitsburg (21727), Frederick, Graceham (21788), Green Valley (21770), Hasonville, Ijamsville (21754), Jefferson (21755), Knoxville (21758), Ladiesburg (21759), Lewistown (21701), Libertytown (21762), Lake Linganore (21774), Linganore (21704), Middletown (21769), Monrovia (21770), Mount Airy (21771), Mt Airy (21771), Myersville (21773), New Market (21774), New Midway (21775), Petersville, Point of Rocks (21777), Rocky Ridge (21778), Rosemont (21758), Savillasville(21780), Spring Garden (21793), Sunny Side, Thurmont (21788), Tuscarora (21790), Urbana (21704), Utica (21702), Walkersville (21793), Wolfsville (21773), and Woodsboro (21798).
Howard County Attorney Legal Services
Howard County Attorney Serving: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044, 21045, 21046), Cooksville (21723), Dayton (21036), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21042, 21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Guilford (20763), Hanover (21075, 21076), Highland (20777), Marriottsville (21104), Owen Brown (21044), Savage (20763), West Friendship (21784), and Woodbine (21797).
Anne Arundel County Attorney Legal Services
Anne Arundel County Attorney Serving: Annapolis (21401, 21403, 21409), Arnold (21012), Brooklyn Park (21225), Crofton (21114), Crownsville (21032), Deale, Edgewater, Ferndale, Fort Meade, Gambrills (21054), Germantown, Gibson Island, Glen Burnie (21060, 21061, 21062), Hanover (21076), Jessup (20794), Linthicum, Odenton, Pasadena (21122), Rivera Beach, Severn (21144), and Severna Park (21146).
Montgomery County Attorney Legal Services
Montgomery County Attorney Serving: Ashton (20861), Aspen Hill (20853, 20906, 20916), Bethesda (20814, 20815, 20817), Barnesville (20838), Brookville (20833), Burtonsville, Cabin John (20818), Calverton, Chatsworth, Chevy Chase (20815), Clarksburg, Cloverly, Damascus (20872), Derwood (20855), Fairland, Forest Glen, Gaithersburg (20882, 20878, 20879), Garrett Park, Germantown (20876), Glen Echo, Kensington (20895), Laytonsville, Montgomery Village, Olney (20832), Poolesville, Potomac (20854), Rock Creek, Rockville (20850, 20851, 20853), Silver Spring (20904, 20905, 20906), Takoma Park (20903, 20910, 20912, 20913), and White Oak (20904).