Towson Divorce Lawyer | Divorce Hearings.
Maryland Divorce Civil Procedure and Hearings
Amar S. Weisman is recognized for representing more than 600 Family Law at divorce hearings. His ability to represent clients in Court is reflected has been recognized by clients and peers in the following ways:
- Rrated as one of the top divorce lawyers by Expertise.Com,
- Awarded Top 10 Family Law by And Practice Magazine for 2020
- Awarded Top 10 for Client Service by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys every year since 2016. ,
- Rated "Suburb" by Avvo
- Rated 4.7/5.0 By Clients on Google
Court Hearings Are Central to the Divorce Process
You cannot be divorced in the State of Maryland unless a Circuit Court Judge enteres a Judgment of Absolute Divorce dissolving the marital union after a lawsuit has been filed and the court has sufficient evidence that the grounds for divorce have been established. The Circuit Court for Baltimore County is a Court of Equity with jurisdiction over family law matters as codified through Family Law Article § 1-203 states that two married Marylanders cannot be divorced because they want to be divorced--there must be a hearing.The law also requires parties being divorced to make the Child Custody and Child Support part of the official record. Even though every divorce is different, most cases that are contested will have certain kinds of hearings which serve different purposes: The Courts serving the Baltimore metropolitan area have unique Differentiated Case Management Plans that control how divorce cases are calendared based on the complexity of the issues before the Court:
- The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland Circuit Family Differentiated Case Management Plan
- Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County Family Law Case Management Plan
- Circuit Court for Baltimore City Family Division DCM Plan
- Circuit Court for Harford County, Maryland Circuit 3 Familily Differentiated Case Management Plan
- The Circuit Court for Howard County Fifth Judicial Circuit Family Law Differentiated Case Management Plan
Covid-19 Has Impacted The Structure and Timeliness For Divorce Hearings In Maryland
The spread of Covid-19 in the Baltimore metropolitan area has changed the way both people and courts respond to divorce. In the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, the Court has conducted hearings using Zoom, Skype for Business and by telephone. Whether a hearing occurs in-person or remotely depends on whether the case is contested, whether the parties are represented by counsel, the complexity of the case and chance. The local response is guided by a series of Administrative Orders issued by the highest judge in Maryland, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbara, who is considered one of the most insightful and responsive jurists in the United States. During the summer and fall of 2021, the Court is still holding many hearings remotely using Skype and Zoom.
Divorce Hearings In Baltimore County And Maryland Public Policy
The public policy of the State of Maryland is to encourage the settlement of domestic disputes. The Court process is designed to encourage Alternative Dispute Resolution. As a family law lawyer, Amar S. Weisman helps clients navigate the mediation and the custody evaluation process to effectuate fair settlements whenever possible. That big picture having been stated, Mr. Weisman helps clients understand the purpose of each hearing type. This includes helping clients establish establish realistic expectations before the hearing occurs and reminding clients that not all court events are evidentiary in nature; while certain court events center around evidence, exhibits, witnesses and the trial process, other hearings are procedural in nature and/or designed to encourage parties to reach their own settlement. How you approach the following hearings will depend on your goals, your needs and the complexity of your case:
- Scheduling Conference including screening for high-conflict custody disputes, interviews with social service workers, a conversation with the family law magistrate, and meeting with a scheduling officer to schedule future court events, mediation, parenting classes and setting deadlines including the discovery. Scheduling Conferences occur after the the plaintiff files a Complaint, the defendant is served, an Affidavit of Service is filled, and the defendant filed an answer with proper certifications. In Baltimore County, they usually occur at 9:00 am, 10:00 am or 11:00 am, but sometimes scheduling conferences happen in the afternoon. Unless the attorneys have set up a telephone scheduling conference, they occur on the fifth floor of the County Courts Building. At the end of the scheduling conference, the court issues a Scheduling Order that assigns your case to a special track assignment. Scheduling conferences in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County are somewhat informal in nature. Scheduling conferences in The Circuit Court for Baltimore City and the Circuit Court for Harford County are on the record in open court.
- Settlement Conference in Baltimore County can result in one of the following: your matter will settle, you will receive trial dates. and potentially the court will set up a second settlement conference. In Baltimore County, settlement conferences are conducted by a retired judge, such as the Honorable Norris Byrnes or the Honorable Timothy Martin who are among the most skilled settlement offers in the region. Harford County settlement conferences, which there are called Pre-Trial Conferences, are usually conducted by the Honorable William O. Carr, the former administrative judge of Harford County. Baltimore City Settlement Conferences are conducted by distinguished attorneys with a great deal of experience practicing family law and settling family law matters. Since 2019, Amar S. Weisman conducts settlement conferences for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. The experience he has acquired, as a mediator, can be applied to help resolve your care on sensible terms.
- Pendente Lite Hearings (also known as "PL Hearings"). These are rare and used to establish a workable arrangement for parties while the litigation is pending. These are sometimes conducted by family law magistrates who are appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge. If you require a PL hearing, the rules require that they be requested and the appropriate time to make such a request is often the Scheduling Conference.
- Limited Divorce and Absolute Divorce Trials. In absolute divorce matters that involve marital property, these are conducted by judges not magistrates in Baltimore County. Before the merits trials, it is essential to organize exhibits, issue trial subpoenas, and outline direct and cross examination of all fact witnesses and expert witnesses. Each hour of trial requires 2-3 hours of preparation on average.
- Enforcement/Contempt Hearings. The most common form of enforcement hearings are for failure to pay child support, failure to pay alimony and/or denial of access in violation of a visitation schedule. Motions to Alter/Amend a judgment can be filed for a variety of reasons in conjunction with enforcement proceedings.
- Follow-Up Hearings in matters involving supervised visitation, drug addiction, alcohol addiction or another consequential complication. Although follow-up hearings are common in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, they are especially common in Harford County.
- Court of Special Appeals Hearing.
It is strongly advised that parties attend all hearings with an experienced divorce and custody lawyer. However, it is sometimes possible for out of state parties to appear by telephone under very limited circumstances.
Jurisdictions Served In The Baltimore Metropolitan Area
- Circuit Court for Baltimore County
- Circuit Court for Harford County
- Circuit Court for Baltimore City
Call 410-321-4994 To Meet With Towson Divorce & Family Law Lawyer Amar S. Weisman.
Please Call (410) 321-4994 during business hours to schedule a free consultation for the purpose of deciding whether you want to retain Amar S. Weisman. The firm does not accept pro bono clients at this time. To retain legal services and advice, you must pay a retainer, See Policy on Fees/Costs. The law firm is located in the heart of Towson near The Circuit Court For Baltimore County, Towson Town Center, Goucher College and Towson University, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road (MD-146), Second Floor Towson, MD 21204. We represent clients throughout the Baltimore area including Aberdeen, Abingdon, Baldwin, Bel Air, Bowleys Quarters, Brooklandville, Carney, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Edgewood, Essex, Garrison, Glen Arm, Greenspring Valley, Homeland, Hunt Valley, Hydes, the Joppa Road Corridor, Kingsville, Long Green, Lutherville, Middle River, Nottingham, Owings Mills, Parkville, Pikesville, Perry Hall, Reisterstown, Riderwood, Rodgers Forge, Rosedale, Ruxton, Sparks, Sparrows Point, Stoneleigh, Timonium, Towson, West Towson, White Hall, White Marsh, and the York Road corridor. We have also represented a number of out-of-state clients. The law firm does not guarantee the results in any matter.