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Elkton's Premier Separation and Divorce Attorney 

Representing Cecil & Harford Countians

Our Top-Rated Maryland Divorce Law Attorney in Elkton, Maryland
Focuses on Protecting What's Important!


You don't have to face the overwhelming stress of divorce alone. Let us be your trusted partner during this challenging chapter of your life.


At the Law Office of Chelsea M. Sadler LLC, we recognize the emotional and psychological toll that a  divorce in Maryland can take. Our mission is to provide you with the necessary support and guidance to navigate the complexities of the court system with ease.


The Law Office of Chelsea M. Sadler firmly believes in exploring all possibilities for reconciliation, ensuring divorce is considered as a last resort. Once all reconciliation options have been explored, we will guide you through the process, meticulously prepare and file the required documents, and offer strategic advice for your next steps.

Your case will be handled with the utmost dedication, ensuring that your goals are understood and pursued. With our genuine care and commitment, we strive to minimize stress and anxiety, allowing you to focus on healing and embracing a new future.

Take control of your journey towards a brighter tomorrow. Reach out to us today for a compassionate consultation and discover the peace of mind that comes with having a supportive advocate by your side.

Grounds for Divorce in Cecil and Harford Counties in Maryland

Our experienced family law firm is here to guide you every step of the way. Understanding the legal requirements for divorce in Maryland is essential, and we're committed to providing you with the expertise and support you need to make informed decisions.

The law has recently changed, and there are three Grounds for Divorce In Maryland.

1. Six-Month Separation: To establish this ground, the parties must have lived separately and apart for six months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce. Maryland law considers spouses who have pursued separate lives to have lived separate and apart for the purposes of divorce, even if the spouses live in the same residence or the separation is in accordance with a court order.

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2. Irreconcilable differences is a term used to describe a situation where a married couple faces significant issues or conflicts that cannot be resolved that have led to the breakdown of their marriage. Essentially, it means that the spouses have fundamental differences or problems that make it impossible or impractical for them to continue living together as a married couple.

3. Mutual consent:

  • A written settlement agreement signed by both spouses that resolves all issues relating to alimony (money to support your former spouse); the distribution of property, including any monetary awards, the family home, and family use of personal property; AND the care, custody, access, and support of your minor or dependent children;

  • A completed child support guidelines worksheet if the settlement agreement requires that one spouse pay child support to the other, That neither party objects in writing to the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing, and that the court is satisfied that any terms of the agreement relating to your minor or dependent children are in the best interests of those children.

The Law Office of Chelsea M. Sadler LLC has been providing family law services with a focus on protecting what's important. You, Your Family, and Your Legacy! Schedule a consultation today to see how we can protect you. 

Division of  Assets in a Maryland Divorce:

In Maryland, the division of property and assets is governed by the principle of equitable distribution, which aims for fairness rather than a strict 50/50 split. Various factors influence this distribution, including each spouse's contribution to the marital union, any alimony considerations, the ages of the parties, any misconduct, assets each party brought into the marriage, and the financial standing of each spouse after the divorce. Typically, assets owned prior to the marriage, as well as gifts or inheritances received by one spouse during the marriage, remain separate property. However, if such assets have been used to enhance marital property or have been mixed with joint assets, they may become subject to equitable distribution. Schedule a consultation today for more information. Schedule a consultation today to see how we can protect you. 

  • How will your estate be distributed if you die without a will?
    IF THE DECEDENT IS SURVIVED BY: ​ Spouse and minor children of decedent — spouse receives one-half, children share remaining one-half Spouse and children (all adult) of the decedent—spouse receives $40,000 ($15,000 for a date of death prior to October 1, 2017) plus one-half of remaining estate; children divide balance (the interest of a predeceased child passes to issue of that child) Children only of the decedent — children divide entire estate (the interest of a predeceased child passes to issue of that child) Spouse and parents of the decedent — if married more than 5 years see No. 5, if married less than 5 years the spouse receives $40,000 ($15,000 for a date of death prior to October 1, 2017) plus one-half of remaining estate — both parents divide balance or surviving parent takes balance Spouse of the decedent without other heirs listed above — spouse receives entire estate Parents of the decedent without other heirs listed above — both parents divide entire estate or surviving parent takes all Brothers/sisters of the decedent without heirs listed above — brothers and sisters divide estate equally (share of deceased sibling goes to their issue - nieces and nephews of the decedent) Grandparents without other heirs listed above — grandparents divide entire estate or, if deceased, to their issue (see applicable law for details) Great-grandparents without other heirs listed above — great-grandparents divide entire estate or, if deceased, to their issue Stepchildren — if there are no heirs listed above No living heirs or stepchildren — if decedent was recipient of long-term care benefits under the Maryland Medical Assistance Program at time of death, net estate is paid to Department of Health. Otherwise, the net estate is paid to the Board of Education in the county of the decedent’s domicile ​ NOTE: “Child” does not include a stepchild or foster child
  • Does having a Will mean I can avoid probate in Maryland?
    Not always, but with careful planning, your beneficiaries might be able to avoid the probate procedure. Your estate plan will determine if probate is required.
  • What does a Maryland Probate Attorney do?
    As Maryland probate attorneys we offer families and individuals legal guidance and support during the estate administration process. In addition to assisting with the management of the estate's assets and liabilities, we often assist with the filing of wills and other legal documents. We also offer guidance on dealing with tax matters and allocating the estate's assets to the right beneficiaries. As Probate attorneys we can also be used to resolve beneficiary disputes as well as represent the estate in court, if necessary.
  • How much does probate cost?
    Probate Attorney Fees Maryland statutes spell out the fees and commissions estate attorneys may receive for normal administrative tasks. Any fees above the maximum permitted amount require approval by the Maryland Orphans Court. Fees within the standard range do not require court approval if all interested parties' consent. The state formula for attorney compensation is 9 percent of the first $20,000 of the gross estate and 3.6 percent of the amount over $20,000. For example, the standard attorney fee for an estate valued at $1 million is $37,080. That breaks down to $1,800 for the first $20,000 at 9 percent, and $35,280 for the remaining $980,000 at 3.6 percent. All such estate attorney fees are paid by the estate. The state formula is not the only option. Attorneys may also charge by the hour, and this arrangement is more efficient for many estates and personal representatives. As of January 1, 2023 our firm's hourly Estate Administration fee is $300 per hour we run the calculation of hourly vs. the state formula and whatever is less is what we charge. Probate Administration Fees Under Maryland law, probate and estate planning attorney fees are based on the total gross estate. For example, an estate valued at a minimum of $250,000 but less than $500,000 must pay $500 in fees, while an estate worth at least $500,000 but less than $750,000 owes $750. An estate worth $2 million but less than $5 million pays $2,500. Estates worth $5 million and up pay a $2,500 fee plus 0.2 percent on any excess over $5 million. These Maryland executor fees don’t include additional Letters of Administration, certified mail fees, filing a will for safekeeping, entering claims or caveat papers and plain, certified or exemplified copies. Attorney expenses not considered part of normal estate administration include: Copying and printing expenses Automobile mileage Court filing fees Bond premiums Messenger services. Extraordinary Services Common tasks falling outside the scope of normal estate administration but often undertaken by the probate attorney for additional fees upon request of the personal representative include: Leasing or sale of estate property Appearances before planning or zoning boards Recovering assets belonging to the estate held by another party Defense of tax audits Schedule a consultation today to find out how we can protect what's important to you.
  • How long does probate take in Maryland?
    In Maryland, the probate process can take a year or more. After the date of death, creditors have six months to file a claim. Probate must be open for at least six months after the assets have been divided so that a creditor can file a claim. If the will is challenged or other delays occur, it might take considerably longer. Even with a smaller inheritance, creditors must be given a minimum of seven to nine months' notice.
  • What are the responsibilities of a Personal Representative in a Maryland?
    As the personal representative of an estate during the Maryland Estate Probate Process, there are several key responsibilities that need to be fulfilled. Here is a list of responsibilities for the personal representative: 1. Gather and safeguard estate assets: Identify, locate, and secure all assets owned by the decedent, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal property, and other valuable possessions. 2. Prepare and file the Petition for Probate: Work with our attorney to prepare and file the Petition for Probate with the appropriate Maryland court to initiate the probate process and obtain legal authority to administer the estate. 3. Notify interested parties: Provide notice to beneficiaries named in the will, potential heirs, and known creditors about the probate proceedings and their rights within the process. This may include publishing a notice to creditors in a local newspaper. 4. Create and maintain detailed records: Keep accurate records of all financial transactions, including income, expenses, and distributions made during the probate process. This includes maintaining receipts, invoices, bank statements, and other relevant documents. 5. Inventory and appraisal: Work with our attorney to compile a comprehensive inventory of the decedent's assets and their values. This may involve obtaining appraisals for certain assets to determine their fair market value as of the date of death. 6. Settle outstanding debts: Notify creditors of the decedent's passing and review and validate any claims submitted. Negotiate and settle legitimate debts using available estate assets, ensuring the fair treatment of creditors. 7. File necessary tax returns: Collaborate with our attorney and potentially a tax professional to prepare and file any required tax returns, such as the federal estate tax return (Form 706) or Maryland estate tax return, if applicable. 8. Distribute assets to beneficiaries: Once all debts, taxes, and administrative expenses have been settled, distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will or, in the absence of a will, in accordance with Maryland law. Ensure proper documentation and transfer of assets. 9. Prepare a final accounting: Work with the attorney to prepare a final accounting, which provides a detailed report of all financial transactions and distributions made during the probate process. 10. Obtain court approval and close the estate: Submit the final accounting and any other required documentation to the court for review and approval. Once the court approves, file the necessary paperwork to officially close the estate and be released from personal representative duties. It's important to note that the personal representative may have additional responsibilities based on the specific circumstances of the estate. Working closely with an experienced estate planning and probate attorney can help ensure that all responsibilities are fulfilled correctly and efficiently.
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Over a Decade of Legal Experience

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The Law Office of Chelsea M. Sadler LLC has been providing family law services with a focus on protecting what's important. You, Your Family, and Your Legacy! Schedule a consultation today to see how we can protect you. 

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