Areas of Practice
- Legal Separation
- Child Custody
- Marital Property
- Domestic Violence
- Protective Orders
- Peace Orders
For couples considering divorce, a legal separation most often the first step. A Legal Separation is a court order mandating the rights of the couple while they are married, but living apart. An experienced family law attorney, like Dawn Merino, is an invaluable asset to anyone beginning the process of legal separation. She will help you navigate the process of legally separating from your spouse, and all of the steps afterward.
Most divorces in Maryland are granted on the basis of a one year separation. Attorney Dawn Merino can be helpful to her clients by drafting Voluntary Separation and Property Settlement Agreements. If the parties can agree on all issues, obtaining the actual divorce is a relatively easy and less expensive process.
Divorces that involve complex property matters, alimony, and/or contested custody matters may not be able to be resolved by agreement. Clients that have complicated matters can rest assured that Dawn Merino is prepared to handle their cases properly and efficiently. In her twenty years of experience, Dawn Merino has litigated numerous complex matters. She has worked with psychiatrists, social workers, school personnel, property appraisers, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and physicians. Regardless of your particular need, Ms Merino has the resources to accommodate your situation.
Custody cases have a lasting impact on all family members. Custody cases need to be handled properly from the beginning. Dawn Merino has handled numerous custody cases during her twenty years practicing law.
Domestic violence is a serious issue for a person who is a victim as well as for the person who is accused of domestic violence. Although a domestic violence Protective Order is not a criminal action, it can have consequences that are similar to those in a criminal case. A victim can obtain exclusive use of the residence and possible custody of the children. A person accused of domestic violence can be ordered out of their residence and prevented from having access to their children. A Protective Order can have a big impact on a subsequent divorce case. It is critical to be represented at a Protective Order hearing by competent counsel. Dawn Merino has represented both victims and the accused, getting them the solutions they deserved.