About us - Family Attorneys in Rockville MD
ours & Lucero, LLC has represented clients in a wide variety of legal issues for over 40 years. When faced with marital separation, divorce, custody, bankruptcy, a DUI or other criminal offenses, you need a lawyer who can prepare and guide you through this critical time in your life.
We take pride in our ability to help our clients successfully navigate through the legal process during a time that is likely an extremely emotional and challenging experience for them. We strive to create a personal connection with each of our clients and protect their best interests and rights throughout the legal process. We help you understand the law and what it means to you in your unique situation.
Mr. Bours is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest recognition possible in the legal industry, for his professionalism and ethics.
Our team of family attorneys in Rockville has decades of experience representing clients in complex family law and divorce matters.
Combining trial skills, negotiation skills, and expertise in all areas of the law, Bours & Lucero vigorously defends your interests, your rights, and your record.
Reginald W. Bours, III, has been practicing law since 1969. After completing his law degree in 1968, Mr. Bours served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Joseph M. Mathias from 1968 to 1969, In January 1969, he started his career with the State’s Attorney’s Office for Montgomery County where he became Deputy State’s Attorney in 1973. While a prosecutor, Mr. Bours handled every kind of criminal and traffic case and trained new prosecutors. Read more…
Alicia R. Lucero is a native of the Washington Metropolitan Area, born in Washington D.C. and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland. Alicia received her B.A. in Political Science with Honors at the University of Maryland College Park. She later attended The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC, and graduated with honors. Read more…
Farzan Khajehnoori is an associate attorney at Bours & Lucero, LLC. A native of Montgomery County, Farzan received his B.S. in International Business from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He then attended the University of Baltimore School of Law and graduated with honors. Read more…
Reginald W Bours III
Attorney at Law
DUI & other traffic offenses, felonies & misdemeanors
Alicia R. Lucero
Attorney at Law
Family law & bankruptcy
Attorney at Law
Criminal law & family law
Below are our Licenses and BAR Memberships:
- Court of Appeals for State of Maryland (2004)
- United States District Court for the District of Maryland (2005)
- Maryland State Bar Association, Active Member
- Montgomery County Bar Association, Active Member
- Inns of Court for Montgomery County Bar Association, Associate (2010 – 2011), and Barrister (2015-2017)
- Women’s Bar Association Montgomery County, Liaison to Executive Committee (2016)
- Nominations Chair (2016-Present), Finance Committee Auction Co-Chair (2016)
- At Large Member Executive Committee (Fall 2017 to present)
- Prince George’s County Bar Association, Active Member
- Board of Directors for Prince George’s County Bar Association (2007-2009)
- International Association for Collaborative Professionals (IACP) (2011-2012)
- Best Interest Attorney, Approved and Current on Court List (2014-Present)
A divorce is probably one of the most difficult decisions that people make in their lives. For many, the prospect of altering one’s entire life is a daunting task. At Bours & Lucero, LLC, we have seen firsthand the emotional toll this process takes on a person. It is our firm’s belief that we can offer both an attorney who understands the law, but who also has a compassionate approach to the attorney-client relationship. Our legal services are designed to get you the best possible outcome in your case, as well as trying to instill in our clients a positive outlook for the future.
Since the Maryland legislature’s recent passage of the “one-year separation ground” which does not require marital fault by either party, many separating parties are using the no-fault one-year separation ground to obtain a divorce. However, some clients may be entitled to a more expedited divorce if they can establish and prove in court fault grounds based on their spouse’s misconduct. Below is a comprehensive list of all grounds in Maryland to obtain an Absolute Divorce and can be found at MD Code Annotated, Family Law §7-103:
Divorce - Adultery by a spouse
Desertion: if the desertion has continued for at least 12 months without interruption before any application filing for divorce; the desertion is then deliberate and final. From there, there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation
Conviction of a felony of a misdemeanor in any state or court of the United States if prior to filing an application for divorce the Defendant has been sentenced to a minimum of three years or an indeterminate sentence in a penal institution.
12-month separation, when the parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce.
Insanity if the insane person has been confined in a mental institution, hospital or similar institution for a minimum of three years before the application of divorce or court determines from the testimony of at least two licensed physicians who are competent in psychiatry who state that the insanity is incurable and there’s no hope of recovery.
Cruelty of Treatment of the complaining party, or a minor child of the complaining party, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Excessively Vicious Conduct toward the complaining party or even a minor child of the complaining party, if there is no reasonable expectation of any reconciliation. MD Code Annotated, Family Law §7-103
Mutual Consent if the parties have no children and resolve all other issues in a written agreement they can obtain a divorce on the grounds of mutual consent
Divorce and Child Custody
When one is facing the prospect of a divorce or a relationship breakup, generally the first question that pops into a parent’s mind is, “What will happen to my children?” For example, where the child(ren) will live and with whom is a significant concern to the party who has been consistently the caregiver to the child. Sometimes parties use children as a bargaining chip when looking at the marital property issues pending as well. Others use the children as a weapon against the other party simply to cause pain. Thus, custody disputes can easily become one of the most contentious areas in the law.
During this difficult transition, we can advise a client as to the following concerns:
1) What to expect regarding the legal process
2) How to best situate oneself for a custody battle
3) What to do in terms of communicating with your spouse, or other biological parents regarding the child
4) How to best prepare yourself for the new financial situation of supporting a child without residing under the same roof of the other biological parent.
At Bours & Lucero, LLC, we pride ourselves on an aggressive litigation stance when the welfare of a child is at risk. We have successfully brought and defended fathers and mothers at emergency hearings involving allegations of abuse and/or neglect.
Our firm regularly handles modification of custody petitions and works hard to establish in court that a material change in circumstances exists, affecting the general welfare of the child, justifying a change in custody. The many things which constitutes a material change of circumstances is an area of law that is complicated and detail specific. Contact our office in Rockville, MD for a consultation to discuss the unique facts involved in your case, and we will help you determine whether a modification of custody case is appropriate in your situation.
In Maryland, the courts have distinguished between two types of custody.
A. Residential/Physical Custody: Our courts have noted that in physical custody decisions the court shall apply the Best Interest of the Child (BIC) standard when making a custody determination. In Maryland, the courts are required to weigh the following ten factors when making a custody determination:
- Fitness of the parents
- Character and reputation of the parties
- Desire of the natural parents, along with agreements between the parties
Potentiality of maintaining natural family relations
- Preference of the child
- Material opportunities that affect the future life of the child
- Age, health, and sex of the child
- Residences of parents and opportunity for visitation
- Length of separation from the natural parents
- Prior voluntary abandonment or surrender
While the court considers all above factors, it will generally not weigh any one to the exclusion of all others. The Courts will take a look at the overall situation. Montgomery County Department of Social Services vs. Sanders, 381 A.2d 1184 at 1163 (1977).
B. LEGAL CUSTODY: Is the decision-making authority over essential areas of a child’s welfare. These decision areas include religion, education, medical decisions, and the general welfare of the child. There are two options in the area of legal custody
Sole Legal Custody: One parent has the sole authority to decide unilateral legal custody decisions
Joint Legal Custody: Where the parties each have an equal say in the legal custody decisions. The parties are often expected to engage in good faith negotiations on areas of contention.
Joint Custody with final say: Is the same as joint custody, but after the parties engage in good faith negotiations and are still at an impasse, then the party with final say or “tie-breaking authority” will make the final decision.
Joint Custody with a mediation clause: Is the same as joint custody, but after the parties engage in good faith negotiations and are still at an impasse, then the parties will submit to mediation before a neutral third party.
Both of the child’s parents have the duty to support their minor children, but when they separate, the immediate question to be determined is who pays and how much. This is largely determined by the Maryland Child Support Guidelines, a statute the seeks to make awards of child support more predictable while still recognizing the incomes of the parents, the costs of child care, medical insurance or actual medical expense have an impact that varies with each case.
In 1989, the General Assembly enacted the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. Md. Family Law Code Annotated § 12-201 et al. The use of child support guidelines is mandatory, and deviation from the use of such guidelines is the exception to the rule. These child support guidelines are federally backed with enforcing laws and federal regulations. The purpose of these regulations was to create uniformity and consistency in the amount of child support awards across the state of Maryland. The child support guidelines are a formulaic equation which calculates child support, and by law are deemed presumptively correct. Thus, the application of child support guidelines is considered to be the correct amount of child support to be awarded.
Our Rockville Law firm is experienced with using the Guidelines and applying the required factors to obtain the proper outcome for each case. If you are seeking child support, prompt action is critical. Child support awards require a written complaint that is filed with a court. Once filed, judges may exercise discretion to make child support awards retroactive to the date the action was filed. The same is true if a party is seeking a reduction of child support previously awarded because, say, the person lost a job or has reduced income for a valid reason. Child support cannot be modified any sooner than the date the request for modification is actually filed. In either situation, we can represent you in seeking an initial award or modify an existing order for child support.
Spousal support in Maryland, unlike child support, is not done by a formulaic approach. There is not a one size fits all approach. The court is required to take into consideration a multitude of factors such as: the ability of the party seeking alimony to be self-supporting, including the time needed for the party seeking alimony to gain all of the sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment, the standard of living the parties acquired during the marriage, the contributions monetary and non-monetary, of each party to the well-being of the family, the circumstances that ended up leading to the estrangement of the parties, the age of each party involved, the ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet that party’s needs while simultaneously meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony, any agreement between the parties; the financial needs and resources of the parties, and whether the award would cause a spouse who is a resident of a related mental health institution and from whom alimony is sought to become eligible for receiving medical assistance earlier than would otherwise occur.
A person seeking an award of alimony should be aware that there are two types of alimony awards in Maryland:
Rehabilitative Alimony: Is generally for a short period of time designed to get the financially dependent person back on his or her feet. This is accomplished by education, training or other approaches. Generally speaking, courts in Maryland favor rehabilitative alimony over indefinite awards of alimony.
Indefinite Alimony: The court may award alimony for an indefinite period if the court finds that due to factors such as age, illness, infirmity, or disability, the party seeking alimony cannot reasonably be expected to make substantial progress towards becoming self-supporting; or even after the party seeking alimony will have made as much progress toward becoming self-supporting as can reasonably be expected, the respective standards of living of the parties will be unconscionably disparate.
Modification of alimony: Absent an agreement by the parties to make an award of alimony non-modifiable, a person may seek to increase, decrease or terminate the alimony awarded in a case. Our firm can assist you in preparing an agreement for alimony, or a court filing to modify it.
Division of property is seldom simple, and Maryland makes no presumption that everything is to be split equally between spouses. Property can consist of real property “real estate holdings,” personal property (i.e. cars, jewelry, household goods), bank accounts, stocks, retirement funds, pensions and other tangible items. When parties are in dispute as for their property, it becomes the task of a judge to make a determination as to ownership interest, valuation of the property. The judge may then, according to statute, “transfer ownership of the interest in the property and/or grant a monetary award to one of the parties as adjustment of the equities, as well as the rights of the parties concerning marital property whether or not alimony is awarded”. Annotated Code of Maryland, Family Law § 8-205. This award can be reduced to judgment.
A. Use and Possession (Family Home and Family Use Personal Property): Sometimes when parties separate and they own a family home where the children have resided one party may seek to continue residing in the home for the stability of the children. If the parents disagree about listing the house for sale, the party who wants to keep it for the children can ask the court for use and possession of the marital home. A court can grant an individual up to three years of use and possession of a family home to promote the stability of the children.
B. Retirement funds and Pensions: Retirement funds are considered marital property by the courts. Spouses are entitled to a certain percentage of their spouse’s pension on an “if, as, and when basis” upon their spouses’ retirement. In a case called Bangs vs. Bangs, the Court held that retirement funds will be divided pursuant to a formula. One of the important factors is that a party is not entitled to any funds earned prior to the marriage.
By way of example: The parties acknowledge that Wife is entitled to a certain interest in Husband’s FERS Plan (hereinafter “the Plan”) which is hereby declared to be fifty (50) percent of the “marital property portion” of Wife’s interest in the Plan until the date of divorce. The Wife’s share of the Employee’s retirement annuity will be computed by taking 50% of the self-only amount (full and unreduced by the cost of the survivor annuity) of the Employee’s retirement annuity if, as and when payable to him, and multiplying said amount by a fraction in which the numerator would equal the total number of months during the marriage that the employee accrued creditable service toward retirement, and the denominator is the total number of months of creditable service accrued by the Husband at the time of his retirement.
Most divorced people will be entitled to transfers of pension/retirement money without tax consequences pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).
Prenuptial or Premarital Agreement
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between parties that is executed prior to their marriage. This Agreement generally defines the how money or property is to be divided upon separation and divorce. Some parties use this agreement as a vehicle to avoid a highly contested divorce over property down the road.
Separation Agreement: People who are about to separate, or who recently did separate, often find it advisable to make a written agreement on property and divorce issues before the legal action for divorce is filed. The simple principle involved is they can negotiate with each other and make better decisions on the issues than a judge who knows far less about their situation. Such agreements are also less expensive than paying lawyers to appear in court for protracted testimony and argument.
A “separation and property settlement agreement” Is a notarized legal contract drafted by one or more attorneys to address all issues in a divorce. Each spouse should have independent counsel negotiate, prepare or review the terms of these agreements. Once the contract is executed by the parties, the formal divorce proceedings can be abbreviated and less expensive. Agreements can also be enforced if violated by either party and often are incorporated into the judgment of divorce.
Domestic Violence: Civil Protective Orders and Peace Orders
The problem of domestic violence between spouses and others in intimate relationships has resulted in legislation designed to afford a civil remedy to those affected by various forms of personal violence and harassment. In general, the affected person may apply for a family law protective order or a peace order that prohibits contact or otherwise orders the other person to refrain from harmful or annoying conduct.
Family Law Protective Orders are available to designated persons called “persons eligible for relief,” a concept that normally includes the present or former spouse of either party, relatives of either, or the parent of a child of either party to the protective order. These orders may be obtained from a judge during hours the court is open, or from a District Court Commissioner when the court is not. After an initial order is issued upon sworn application of the “Petitioner,” the “Respondent” must be served by a sheriff or other law enforcement officer, and a “final” hearing is scheduled, usually one week after the initial temporary order.
As part of issuing a final protective order, a judge may require someone to move out of the family home, grant custody of children, pay “emergency family maintenance,” or prohibit contact with the other party, in whole or in part. Because the final hearing occurs so soon, a person affected by the potential order must obtain representation quickly. Our firm has considerable experience in these matters and can represent you, even on short notice.
Legal representation is critical to anyone served with an initial protective order and optional for anyone who wants to obtain one. Our office represents either side in these cases and can explain the many consequences of prosecuting or defending such orders. If your ‘significant other’ has wrongfully accused you of threatening or harming you, we can defend the allegations in court, or negotiate with the opposing party or their attorney to resolve the case in the best manner possible.
Peace Orders are available to prohibit anyone, even a stranger, from engaging in conduct identified in the statute. Examples include assault in any degree, criminal harassment, stalking, trespass, destruction of property and similar conduct that is either dangerous or annoying. At a hearing on a peace order, the proponent of the peace order, who is also called the “Petitioner,” must prove that the conduct occurred and that it is likely to be repeated unless the peace order is issued.
Some common issues arise in child support cases, click on each tab below to review some commonly asked questions.
When parents of a child live under the same roof, it is presumed that they are working toward the benefit of the child. Thus, both parties each contribute to the child’s welfare. However, when a married couple separates, or an unmarried couple has a child without residing in the same house, then child support becomes a legal issue to be resolved by the parties either by mutual consent, preferably by written agreement, or through litigation.
In general, courts will not award child support unless the parents are living separately. The parent who is required to be responsible for paying support [“payor”] is generally the party not residing with the child. In most cases, the payee or recipient of child support is the party with whom the child primarily resides.
Child Support is state and federally mandated. An agreement between the child’s parents which states that no child support be paid is unenforceable and against public policy. Thus, child support is not capable of being waived by the recipient parent. This is because child support is considered a benefit to the child, not the custodial parent
In Maryland, our legislature has passed a child support statute that generally calculates child support based on a formulaic approach. There are two types of child support worksheets, and the first determination to be made is which worksheet applies to your particular situation. Worksheet A applies when a parent is awarded sole or primary physical custody, and Worksheet B is when the parents share joint physical custody. The determination as to which worksheet is to be utilized is actually based on the number of overnights the child may have with the non-custodial parent. Our firm works towards a helping our clients determine and achieve the best custody arrangement for their situation, and subsequently will calculate the guidelines accordingly.
Child support guidelines are calculated on both parties gross income. Taxes, social security, Medicare, and retirement are not deducted from the parties’ monthly income. As a result, the payor does not receive the benefit of any tax deductions from their income. Other figures that are entered into the calculation are monies expended on child care work-related expense; extraordinary medical expenses; transportation costs; educational costs such as private school tuition; and health insurance premiums paid on behalf of the child.
When the parties combined gross income exceeds One Hundred Eighty Thousand Dollars ($180,000), then a Judge may deviate from the guidelines and exercise their discretion to award higher support if other factors are met.
The presumption may be rebutted by providing evidence that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case. Knott vs. Knott, 146 Md. App. 232 (2002) citing Tannehill vs. Tannehill, 88 Md. App.4 (1991).
12-202(a)(2)(iii) The terms of any existing separation or property settlement agreement or court order, including any provisions for the payment of mortgages or marital debt, payment of college education expenses, the terms of any use and possession order or legal right to occupy the family home under an agreement, any direct payments made for the benefit of the children required by agreement or order.
We also want to address the common question of – Can I increase the amount of child support I receive when the other party gets a raise?
If a child support order is presently in existence, and you seek to change the amount of the payment then you must have an attorney file a Motion for Modification of Child Support. The case law is clear that a material change in the income of either party may constitute grounds for a request to modify the payments of child support. If you have lost your job you may be entitled to a reduction of child support payment, so long as the court does not hold that you are voluntarily impoverished. Similarly, if the person paying child support receives a significant increase in salary, the person receiving child support may be able to get a larger child support award.
At Bours & Lucero, LLC, we have successfully litigated modification of child support cases resulting in increases and reductions of child support awards based on the facts of each case.
Alicia Lucero represented me during my divorce. She was the strong advocate I needed while going through what turned out to be a very contentious case. Alicia’s counsel was always practical and realistic and focused on reaching the best possible outcome given the variables of the case. She negotiated a fair settlement with alimony and half of my ex-husband’s retirement fund. Alicia was very responsive, getting back to me within a couple of hours even when I called her late in the day or on weekends. She was very professional and well prepared. Her fee was also extremely fair.
Mr. Bours represented me last year in a case which was very complex and emotionally taxing. I was starting a divorce through a family law attorney when my soon-to-be ex-wife falsely accused me of a crime. I had consulted with Mr. Bours prior to this and my family law attorney had also worked with him in the past. When I reached out to him initially it was for representation on a protection order. Then I learned my ex had placed charges against me and the situation escalated. Ultimately, he won my case, getting the criminal charges and the protection order dismissed (two different cases); But it was his length of experience throughout the ordeal which kept the case(s) moving forward. Throughout the entire ordeal, he and his office staff could not have been more professional, knowledgeable and well organized. He was upfront about the legal costs, but his representation was worth so much more.
She is amazing, smart and takes your case seriously! She help me a lot! I was scared and she gave me confidence. She kept me informed of the case and was always very professional. I recommend her to everyone I know and will use her again without hesitation.
You need this man to represent you.
Mr. Bours represented me in a complex case which required extensive legal research, computer forensics and dealing with an extremely difficult prosecutor. I felt like I was his only client. He kept me informed, went the extra mile and planned and executed a very solid strategy. When experts were required, he spent my money as though it were his own, keeping my costs down to what was needed. Ultimately he managed to get the case dismissed by making it clear his defense was well-grounded and formidable.
I just cannot say enough good things about him.
I was very impressed by her professionalism and efficiency. She went the extra mile to assure we understood the process and was readily available at all times. She always sought our best interest. I would highly recommend her.
Alicia is a unique, dedicated, hard working professional. With her hard work she help us win an emergency custody hearing and won every hearing after that.
She always made us feel like her number one priority.
She’s the type of lawyer that will sacrifice a day off to take care the needs of her clients.
We are extremely happy with her performance and we couldn’t ask for more. She got my husband’s kids back!!!! we are so thankful and blessed we found her.
My wife hired Alicia Lucero to handle an extremely complex family law case. We had dealt with several attorneys in the past, some of whom were competent attorneys who were nevertheless negligent in protecting her rights. These lawyers ranged from an attorney who was so incompetent and negligent that he had to be temporarily disbarred for his conduct, to a Maryland Superlawyer who conducted himself honorably and competently, yet still didn’t measure up to Ms. Lucero’s standards of diligence.
Alicia Lucero was professional and gave us excellent advice, and yet wasn’t above listening to us. She informed us, involved us, and worked with us intimately in crafting a legal strategy that was largely successful in a case where she didn’t have adequate time to prepare, and was hamstrung by the failures of previous attorneys we had hired.
Ms. Lucero was extremely knowledgeable, yet was secure enough to ask other colleagues for information and advice when she thought it appropriate to do so. This was a refreshing change from previous attorneys whose egos were so big that they felt that they had to maintain the illusion that they knew everything there was to know. Our case was very complex, and Ms. Lucero understood that, and put a lot of hard work into understanding those complexities – far more work than any other attorney we had worked with in the past.
She was trustworthy, empathetic, kind and decent in every way, without losing any of her objectivity, which made a difficult situation much easier than it could have been. My wife and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for an experienced, thorough, and professional attorney. Without her, we were at a serious disadvantage because the opposition’s legal conduct was very aggressive. Upon retaining her, she made it her business to advocate strongly and effectively for our interests.
As a result, our opposition hates her, but we love her!
Ms. Lucero has been my attorney for several Family Cases I have had during the past 3 years. I was blessed to have been given her number after being frighten and worried about a case that was filed with a trial date just a few weeks around the corner, in which I had no knowledge of.
Being unsure of signing a retainer with her, Ms. Lucero was very clear and straight forward about the possibility of the outcome. She was also confident enough to transmit to a concern parent about the job she would hold; the honesty of the case and what could be the outcome and not just “painting the flowers in pink” to you, but also the time she would put in, the crucial feedback communications, the flexibility she was willing to have and most important she would only do what the client tells her what to do. I knew then that she was the attorney that was for me, and not one of those hungry for cash, crooked, unprepared or uncaring about the case or the clients wishes. She gave the confidence that she could take up the challenge and explained the law and was reassuring that she would do the best to win it.
Ms. Lucero demonstrated to be all that and more, my expectations of what an attorney should be like was not even remotely close as what she proved it should be at the end. Each case she gets she tries to spread them out sufficiently to be able to prepare, to be available to your needs, questions, comments, concerns and is a whole week of preparation before trial. Her flexibility, punctuality, dedication, research, honesty, recommendations, determination, organization are only half of the qualities she has proven every time and not only with ALL of my cases but others that i have recommended.
Ms. Lucero is a phenomenal attorney whom I would recommend 100%+. It does not matter if she wins or loses the case; her efforts go all the way and she expects another round at it if necessary. I highly recommend her and guarantee that if GOD and she allow it; she will continue to be our (child and I) attorney.
Passionate, Dedicated, Honest, Fighter was Ms Lucero with my family case. Had a pleasure of having her as my attorney in numerous cases. She is so professional that no matter the case she always strives to win. I highly recommend her as well as the firm!!!!