The law office of Christopher R. vanRoden concentrates in all areas of family law, including divorce, custody, visitation, child and spousal support and marital property issues, including pension division and distribution
.Mr. vanRoden’s practice also includes civil and criminal litigation, and he is a trained mediator; these services may be considered as an alternative to litigation. Mr. vanRoden is up front and honest with his clients respecting their needs, goals, and objectives. He and his staff maintain strong community ties and are committed to the pursuit of excellence. The office provides timely, client-oriented service.
Dedication to quality, understanding of the law, trust, and respect are the foundation for long-standing relationships with clients and the community.
- Family Law
- Divorce: Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse. It can be contrasted with an annulment, which is a declaration that a marriage is void, though the effects of marriage may be recognized in such unions, such as spousal support or Alimony, child custody, child support, and distribution of property.
- Custody: Child custody and guardianship are legal terms which are sometimes used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, and the parent’s duty to care for the child.
Residence and contact issues typically arise in proceedings involving divorce, annulment and other legal proceedings where children may be involved. In most jurisdictions the issue of which parent the child will reside with is determined in accordance with the best interests of the child standard.
- Child Support: Child support or child maintenance is the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, for the care and support of children of a relationship or marriage that has been terminated.
Child support is based on the policy that parents are obligated to pay for the support of their children, even when the children are not living with both biological parents. Though courts typically permit visitation rights to non-custodial parents, in such separations one parent is given custody and the role of primary caregiver. In such cases, the other parent still remains obligated to pay a proportion of the costs involved in raising the child.
- Separation: Separation is a possible step towards divorce under the laws of Maryland. A couple is legally separated only if the couple has successfully petitioned a court to recognize their separation; simply living apart does not constitute separation for these purposes.
Legal separation does not automatically lead to divorce. The couple may reconcile, in which case they need do nothing in order to remain married. If they do not reconcile, and wish to divorce after the statutory time period, they must file for divorce explicitly.
A period of legal separation may constitute grounds for divorce and is usually required before a divorce can take effect.
- Marital Property Issues
- Pension Division and Distribution