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wooden figures representing parents and children in front of gavel

Why You Need a Good Attorney for Your Custody Battle

Getting a divorce is an incredibly emotional and taxing situation. This is especially true when custody of your child is also on the line. If you want to make sure that you are going to get the fair amount of time with your son or daughter that you are owed, then you are going to want to make sure you are working with a divorce attorney in Westminster, MD, that is capable of fighting on your behalf with gusto.

Custody laws can be pretty confusing, but the general idea is for the court to make a decision based on the best interests of the child. With the help of an attorney, you are able to make a compassionate case on your behalf while ensuring that you are speaking to the different types of legal aspects that will help determine your case.

With so many emotions going on, you need someone with a cool head to process all of the information and present your side of the story in a cool, calm, and straightforward manner. That is exactly the role your attorney plays during your custody hearing. With their knowledge and expertise by your side, you are able to make a valiant effort towards getting a fair judgement.

handcuffs on top of a set of fingerprints

Do You Qualify for Record Shielding?

Thanks to the Maryland Second Chance Act, many individuals who have been previously convicted of a crime are able to render their court and police records inaccessible to members of the general public. The state believes that one-time mistakes shouldn’t always stop you from being able to better yourself and achieve your goals. Working with a lawyer in Westminster, MD, will help you better understand if you qualify for record shielding under this act.

Shielding is a fairly affordable process, but it only applies to twelve specific crimes, including:

  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Disturbing the Peace
  • Failure to Obey a Reasonable & Lawful Order
  • Malicious Destruction of Property in the Lesser Degree
  • Trespassing on Posted Property
  • Possessing or Administering a Non-Controlled Dangerous Substance
  • Driving without a License
  • Driving While Privilege is Canceled, Suspended, Refused, or Revoked
  • Driving While Uninsured
  • Prostitution Offense

If you’ve been convicted of any of these above mentioned crimes, then for a small fee, your lawyer will be able to file a petition to the court to see if it can be shielded. Convictions cannot be shielded earlier than three years after the person satisfies the sentence, and only one shielding petition will be granted over a person’s lifetime. Furthermore, if the person has any subsequent convictions during the waiting period of the shielding, their request will not be approved.

gavel on sounding block

What to Expect During an MVA Hearing

With the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the road each day, there may come a time when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.

If it’s believed that you are at fault and charged with a DUI, you could be facing a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) hearing to decide the fate of your driver’s license. If this has happened, seek a lawyer in Westminster, MD, to defend you. Our team at McFadden Law Offices has a great deal of experience in this area and is ready to stand by you.

Here’s a bit of what you should expect during these hearings that are held by the Department of Transportation’s MVA to determine the status of your license. One of our lawyers will look closely at the process and may attempt to have the issue dismissed on the grounds of flawed paperwork, for example, or some other deficiency.

The hearings are often short and straightforward. If you are requesting a modified license for work, it could take around 20 minutes. Challenging a suspension will take longer.

Hearing outcomes can range from a restricted license that allows you to drive for work, having an interlock system installed in their car for a year to suspension. Having a lawyer represent you will go a long way toward a favorable outcome for you.

woman opening empty wallet

Dealing with Finances During a Divorce

By any measure, a divorce is a stressful event for everyone involved. When you add the potentially volatile issue of finances to the mix, it can become even more so. That’s why you need to take a level-headed and practical approach when dealing with finances during a divorce proceeding. You want your rights protected, and your financial stake in the union protected so that you can get your share while not being harmfully impacted by the demands of the other party.

Our team at McFadden Law Offices is ready to help when you need a divorce attorney in Westminster, MD, and we’ll begin by offering some helpful tips in this blog post.

You are going to want to look at child support and alimony right away. The state calculates these payments in the case of child support, and the court for spousal support. Make sure you factor these into your personal budget regardless if you are the recipient or the payer.

Another major issue is the division of assets. Make sure you list all the assets and get appraisals where necessary. Assets will be addressed during the settlement, along with joint debt and liabilities. You may need to consult a financial planner following a divorce to help you establish a picture of your financial profile heading into the divorce proceeding.

Pre-nuptial agreements offer protection during a divorce, but if you don’t have one, choose a dependable divorce attorney to protect your rights.

couple facing away from each other on a couch

What to Do When Your Spouse Asks for a Divorce

While some couples are able to reconcile and work together through their marital woes, others aren’t always as lucky. Should your spouse tell you that he or she wants a divorce, no matter what the reason, there are some elementary steps you can take to protect yourself and your rights from the beginning. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep calm. Letting emotions get the best of you can lead you to do or say things you might regret later.
  • Determine if counseling is an option before either you or your spouse takes any legal steps.
  • Don’t agree to child or spousal support before consulting qualified legal counsel.
  • Encourage peace even when your spouse may be uncivil.
  • Find effective representation to protect your parental rights and your assets.
  • Seek personal support from family, friends, and members of your congregation.
  • Consider settling a collaborative divorce out of court for a less adversarial and less expensive approach.

For many couples, divorce can be a stressful, painful experience. While it isn’t easy, it doesn’t have to be messy. By consulting a seasoned, skilled divorce lawyer in Carroll County, you can gain valuable information about applicable legal principles and your rights as a parent and spouse. Visit the McFadden Law Offices for a free consultation with our experienced divorce lawyers so you can understand how we can help you and your family.

man in hospital gown staring out a window

Legal Options For Victims of Hit-and-Run Accidents

A hit-and-run incident is incredibly unfair to accident victims, who often feel that they aren’t able to take action if the at-fault driver isn’t caught. Fortunately, if you were the victim of an automotive accident where the other party fled the scene, you do have options. When an accident happens, remember to:

  • Try to get the other driver’s license plate number. If you are physically able, use your phone to take photos of the other vehicle and its plate.
  • Call 911. If you or the other driver is injured, give the 911 responder as many details as possible.
  • Provided you aren’t too injured, talk to as many eyewitnesses as you can. Ask them for their contact information. You may need a statement or testimony down the line.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company, but don’t make any formal statement to your insurer before consulting legal counsel.
  • If the other driver flees the scene, alert the police. Try to write down every detail before you forget anything. Scan your surroundings to determine if any video cameras may have recorded the accident.

You can’t be certain of how cooperative the other driver may be following an accident. However, you can give yourself a stronger chance of recovering compensation by thinking quickly and bringing a record of your post-accident observations to a skilled car accident attorney in Carroll County. Visit the McFadden Law Offices as soon as possible to learn more about how we can help you.

lawyer speaking with a client

Who Is Eligible for Expungement?

You may have had dealings with the court you would like to keep private. This can be achieved by filing a petition for expungement. This essentially means the criminal, juvenile, domestic, or civil matter is removed from the court record. Having a court record can impact your future negatively. When you want to appear your very best, such as for a job interview or college application; an expungement leaves you with a clean record.

The court grants expungements only in certain cases involving criminal law in Carroll County.  For example, when:

  • You have received a probation before judgment and other criteria have been met.
  • The act is no longer a crime.
  • Your case was dismissed.
  • You were found not guilty.
  • The case was put on the Stet docket and the other criteria have been met.

It is a good idea to seek the counsel of a criminal lawyer when you would like an expungement. This matter has to go through the courts, requiring timely petitions and proper procedure. For those who are not deeply knowledgeable about the requirements and deadlines, a petition may not be successful due to technicalities.

Your attorney will look into the matter and see if it is possible in your case. If so, then your lawyer will pursue the matter further and inform you of the requirements and timetables. After that, it is time to file the matter in court and look for a resolution.

Contact McFadden Law Offices to schedule a consultation today.

close-up of parent holding hands with their child

What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Refuses to Pay Child Support

Even when a divorce is amicable, Carroll County child support can remain a bone of contention between the parents. During divorce proceedings, the finances of both spouses are examined and the judge determines an amount based on a set of state guidelines. As the law sees it, both parents have an obligation to pay for the upbringing of their offspring.

However, your ex-spouse is not meeting their obligation. They are not paying your court-ordered child support. This causes you financial hardship and your children are suffering because of it.

What should you do? Reach out to a qualified attorney in Carroll County for Child Support.  A lawyer can help you get the Child Support you should be getting paid.  It can be done via a Petition for Contempt or a garnishment of wages in which the non-paying party’s company will pay you the support directly from their employer.

We know that dealing with an ex-spouse who refuses to pay child support is frustrating. Reach out to McFadden Law Offices today to schedule a consultation about your case.

Co-Parenting after Divorce

young girl thinking about parent’s divorceAgreeing on parenting matters following a divorce can be difficult, even if your proceedings were relatively smooth and amicable. Many parents struggle to agree on things like visitation, shared holidays, schooling, and medical matters. Lifestyle changes, differences of opinion, and simple distance can all affect the way you and your child’s other parent makes important decisions.

A divorce lawyer in Carroll County, MD, can assist you in navigating these matters more constructively. When parents cannot agree on a course of action, a lawyer that specializes in divorce can help you explore all options available and come to the best compromise available. Not only that, with a lawyer involved, agreements can be made legally binding, making future decisions much simpler.

If you’re still considering whether divorce is right for you, and you’re concerned about parenting matters after the fact, a divorce lawyer could be an even greater asset. In fact, it’s a smart idea to enlist the help of one from the beginning. Many couples find that settling questions about money, custody, and other important issues is easier with help from an attorney that specializes in separation.

Ultimately, what matters most is that you and your child’s parent can come to an agreement that considers the child’s best interests. If that’s your goal, retaining a divorce lawyer is always a smart move.

When you need help navigating your divorce and everything that comes along with it, give McFadden Law Offices a call at (410) 871-0003.

When to Call a Lawyer after a Car Accident

broken windshield on dashboardIf you’ve ever been in a minor car accident or fender-bender, you probably felt safe leaving the work to your insurance company. After all, if no major damage was caused and no serious injuries were sustained, many people feel comfortable trusting the negotiations to their insurers.

However, if you were involved in an accident in which fault is more complicated, your car was totaled, or your injuries were extensive, you may wish to pursue compensation on your own terms. A car accident attorney in Carroll County, MD, may be exactly what you need to get the reparations you deserve.

In the state of Maryland, people who are in auto accidents have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver. This contrasts directly with no-fault states that require you to utilize your personal injury protection coverage from your own policy first.

Retaining an attorney is, thankfully, not a complex process. In fact, most attorneys, like our own David McFadden, will provide you with a free consultation to determine whether they can assist you with your case. This can be helpful for those who have never been in a serious car accident before, or people who are unfamiliar with these kinds of legal proceedings.

Call the McFadden Law Offices today at (410) 871-0003 to request a free case evaluation from our experienced attorney.