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Annapolis Divorce Law Blog

Don't make your divorce more expensive than necessary

During a divorce, you want to complete the process as quickly as possible and move on with your life. And that is a good thing, because delay and unnecessary litigation both prolongs the process and makes it more expensive.

Before you start your divorce process, it can be helpful to pre-visualize your total marital estate, which would included all of your joint property. From assets like your bank accounts and investment accounts, real estate, including your family home, vacation property and any other real property. Valuable personal property, like jewelry or art. All retirement accounts, 401ks and pensions. 

Same-sex marriage receives another day in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has finally accepted a group of cases involving same-sex marriage for argument this term. Those arguments will be heard in April and a decision is likely by the last day of the court's session, June 29. What the decision will say will has consequences for all same-sex couples, even those married in Maryland.

This issue is important for same-sex Maryland couples, because while their rights to marriage and same-sex divorce are safe, being the product of legislative action, should they ever move to another state that lacks similar protections, they could experience any number of difficulties, from the inability to divorce to become the target of anti-same-sex legislation that has been proposed in various jurisdictions.

Are you ready for a divorce?

Divorce is both a legal procedure and an experience. You hire a divorce attorney to handle the technical aspect of the procedure. Filing in the right court, seeing that the correct documents are filed and that your spouse is properly served, are essential and need to be done right the first time.

The legal aspects also include drawing up of the property division, child custody arrangements, child support and spousal support, if appropriate. An experienced attorney can help greatly with these elements of your divorce. He or she has seen numerous situations involving circumstances not unlike your own, and can use that experience to your benefit.

Happy New Year! And I want a divorce

The New Year brings expectations of new beginnings and new resolutions. Of course, New Year Day is simply an abstract day singled out to be the start of a year. While perhaps tied to the winter solstice and the gradual lengthening of days, few things really change beyond the calendar when December 31 becomes January 1.

But with the closing of the traditional holidays, January brings a significant increase in divorce fillings. The family courts see a 30 percent increase with the New Year, as couples decide they want to begin the New Year apart.

High assets divorces: Understanding property division

Deciding to separate is not an easy decision for any couple. When two people get married, they are focused on their future and all of the happiness it will bring, yet all too often, these same couples end up trying to figure out how to divide their assets and go their separate ways years later. While some Maryland divorces are fairly simple and the asset division cut and dried, this is not usually the case, and in general, the more assets a couple has, the more complicated the division process can be.

High-asset divorces often include assets such as real estate — often times more than one property — as well as financial holdings such as stocks, bonds or retirement funds. These types of assets are not always able to be divided easily, and it can take some time to work out a property division agreement that is acceptable to both parties.

Child support: Keeping information up-to-date

When a child support order is put in place, it can cause resentment for both parents. It is common for the paying parent to feel that the support amount is too much, while the receiving parent may think that the money is not enough. Child support in Maryland is most often determined by a formula that takes into consideration both parents' financial status and the needs of the child.

Once a support order is in place, any modifications must go through the courts. This includes requests to increase the child support amount or petitions to decrease the support in cases of the paying parent losing a job. It is also crucial for both parties to ensure that the Child Support Enforcement Administration has up-to-date information and is informed about any changes to either parent's situation.

Servicemember's custody status protected by new law

For someone serving in the military, there are innumerable risks. Even servicemembers stationed in the U.S., far from combat zones, working with the complex, large and dangerous equipment of the military can place their lives in jeopardy every day. Working around massive machines like an Abrams tank, a Blackhawk helicopter or F-17, let alone an aircraft carrier is inherently dangerous. And with combat, that risk only increases.

But one risk servicermemebers should not face is losing their children during a custody battle while they are overseas fighting in real battles. Because of erratic deployments, men and women in the military do not get to pick and choose when they may have to leave the U.S.

Should Maryland adopt a shared custody standard?

Shared parenting is a controversial topic. A group known as the National Parent Organization (NPO) supports shared custody, and they rated the states last month in their awarding custody of children during a divorce.

According to their survey, few states performed very well. Almost half received a grade of D and two states received Fs. The NPO argues that in non-abusive marriages, the default custody order should be 50/50. 

Deployments + divorce = difficult family law issues

If you or your spouse is an active military service member then you fully understand the gravity of a deployment.  Not only is there the possibility of spending months away from your family but depending on where the deployment is taking place, there is also a risk to a person's life as well.  In a number of cases, the stress of a deployment can be enough to tear a marriage apart, leaving couples with a very unique and difficult legal situation on their hands.

Although there are a lot of things that differ between military divorces and regular divorces, we wanted to focus today's post on one particular aspect of military divorces that might be considerably more contentious: child custody and child support.

Thankful for a divorce?

During a divorce, it can be difficult to see the big picture. If you initiated the divorce, it is likely you are deeply unhappy and unsatisfied by your current situation. Your marriage is not working and you want to get out. But the Maryland family court system is complex and sometimes bewildering and the frustration with the process and your life can be overwhelming.

If your spouse walked out or filed for divorce, you are probably angry and hurt, even if you felt there were problems with your relationship and your marriage. Again, on top of your emotional feelings, you have to deal with the divorce attorneys, the courts and all of the technical requirements of a situation not of your making.

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