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Rockville MD Divorce Law Blog

Do I have to sign the prenup my fiancé has given me?

When it comes to the subject of prenuptial agreements, the important thing to remember is that everyone's situation is different. For some couples, they may have been married before and therefore come to their next marriage with a considerable amount of assets. For them, a prenuptial agreement is about protecting what they had in the event that divorce should strike twice. For others, the situation may be very different.

Take for example couples who are getting married for the first time. For couples in this situation, they wouldn't have a previous divorce to look back at and know what to do differently with their next marriage. As a result, first-marriage couples may not think about the usefulness of a prenup nor would they know how to enforce one if the situation arose.

Maryland child support enforcement good but not perfect yet

About four years ago, a number of people in Maryland were shocked when legislative auditors uncovered a number of problems with our state's child support enforcement system. According to the report, our state's Child Support Enforcement Administration had not been utilizing important enforcement tools, such as wage garnishment, to seize court-ordered funds. This caused tens of thousands of dollars in child support to go unpaid to the custodial parents who relied on these payments to support their children.

Though a number of these problems have since been corrected, according to the Maryland Reporter, a new report issued this month shows that the state still has a ways to go before it can truly meet the needs of custodial parents through child support enforcement. One way the state can ensure this outcome is by holding county offices accountable for failing to enforce child support orders to the fullest extent of the law.

What's the difference between absolute and limited divorce?

Traditional divorce isn't always possible for every couple. For some, religious convictions may prevent a couple from seeking a legal dissolution of their marriage. For others, it might not make financial sense to divorce right now. Either way, couples facing marital problems still deserve relief, it's just a matter of finding the right solution for each couple's needs.

For couples like the ones we mentioned above, your relief may lie in a limited divorce. If you're like a lot of people here in Montgomery County, you may believe this is closely related to the traditional divorce process, also referred to as absolute divorce. But as you will soon see, these two types of divorce are very different from each other-- both offering though relief from a broken-down marriage.

What the gay marriage decision means for Maryland couples

Maryland began legally recognized same-sex marriage on Jan. 1, 2013. With this week’s historic U.S. Supreme Court decision, same-sex marriages that were performed in Maryland, or any other state, must now be recognized by all other states.

On Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it had reached a 5-4 ruling in favor of gay marriage after the gay marriage bans in four states were challenged as being unconstitutional.

When a child custody or support modification may be needed

When Maryland parents divorce, they will typically reach an agreement regarding custody and support. However, life sometimes throws us curves, and changes may need to be made. While the changes may be in your favor - such as an offer out-of-state for a high-paying job - the court will be thinking about the best interests of your child as well. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to request a modification.

Besides jobs and relocation, there other situations in which you may need to modify your current child custody agreement. A noncustodial parent may actually want a higher percentage of custody and may be able to get it if he or she can prove extreme circumstances such as child abuse or substance use.

Are medical expenses included in the child support I pay?

After a divorce or breakup, many noncustodial parents in Maryland dutifully pay their required child support every month. Depending on their income, these parents may pay hundreds of even thousands of dollars a month. But then they may be forced to make additional payments for medical expenses. Aren't these expenses already included in the monthly child support, and if not, what types of expenses must be shared by both parents?

Monthly child support payments pay for everyday expenses such as food, clothing, housing and school-related costs. The payments do not include medical bills not paid for by insurance. When a child is covered under a parent's medical plan and there are bills that need to be paid out of pocket, these are called extraordinary expenses. Health care is not cheap, so medical bills not covered by insurance can exceed hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is only fair that both parents pitch in and help pay them.

Desertion: One of the 7 grounds for divorce in Maryland

In Maryland, a divorce is granted for one of seven reasons. One of these reasons is desertion. Desertion refers to one spouse's leaving the family home without cause. There are two types of desertion: actual and constructive. Read on to find out how the elements involved and how to prove them in a high asset divorce.

Actual desertion is when one party leaves the home without cause. In order to prove this in a divorce, the party who was deserted must show that the spouse who left intended to file for divorce. The person who was deserted also must not have agreed to the other spouse leaving the home. The couple must be beyond reconciliation and the person must have been gone for at least one year.

Child support may still be required in absence of visitation

Some Maryland parents believe that if they don't pay child support, then they don't have to be responsible for the life they helped create. What many don't understand is that child support and visitation rights are not connected. When a person is determined to be a child's father, he or she has a duty to pay child support. Read on to learn more about the laws regarding child custody and support.

The courts believe it is in the best interests of the child to have two parents. Therefore, it's not as simple as just signing away one's parental rights and never seeing the child again. The only way a mother or father could give up their rights is if there is another adult willing to take over parental rights, such as the parent's new spouse. In extreme cases, a parent's rights could be taken away if he or she is accused of abuse.

Navigating the process of a high-asset divorce

Many Maryland couples struggle with their marriages. Unfortunately, the issues that crop up - such as finances, infidelity or clashing personalities - often lead to divorce. While a divorce can eventually lead to freedom for those trapped in unhappy marriages, the divorce process can be much more stressful than the actual marriage. Many couples refuse to negotiate, and the result can be a nasty court battle. But no matter what happens, the right lawyer will fight for your rights every step of the way.

While one party may want to get the divorce process over with as soon as possible, the other party may refuse to negotiate or even talk to the other spouse out of spite. This can lead to a long, drawn-out divorce that does nothing but waste money and time. It's always better when both parties are willing to negotiate and settle a dispute out of court, but when that's not possible, an experienced family law attorney will be able to effectively present your case in front of a judge.

What happens to retirement plans in a high asset divorce?

Some Maryland residents spend their entire career - several decades or longer - saving for retirement. By the time they retire, they may have amassed a large sum of money - perhaps millions of dollars. But with the recent trend toward divorce late in life, this money may not be totally secure. Retirement plans such as pensions, stocks and 401(k)s are considered assets in a divorce, so these accounts are subject to division. This means that the other spouse may be able to claim his or her fair share should the marriage end. Read on to find out more about what happens to retirement plans in a high asset divorce.

Assets are split based on state law. Retirement plans are split the same as any other asset. In Maryland, assets are split equitably, so the judge will make a determination based on what he or she is fair. It may not be a 50-50 split. In fact, if both spouses are fairly financially secure or have similar amounts of money in their retirement plans, then the plans may not even need to be divided.

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Gaithersburg Divorce Lawyers Video

http://www.mckeonlawfirm.com 202-742-1800 The McKeon Law Firm handles marital property issues in divorce. The attorneys are experienced in business valuation & tracing assets. Contact us in Gaithersburg, Maryland for property division matters.

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