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Rockville MD Divorce Law Blog

Ex not paying child support? Garnish Social Security benefits

As many Maryland parents can attest, raising a child is a lot of hard work. Caring for one also takes a lot of money and it can be difficult for a single parent to pay for all of the expenses involved. If the parent works outside the home, there are day care expenses, as well as medical bills, food, clothing, shelter and other daily expenses. It can be especially challenging when the child's father or mother refuses to pay child support. Many may not know that if the other parent is receiving certain Social Security benefits, this income can be garnished and given to the custodial parent for child support. Read on to learn more about this process.

Supplemental Security Income is a type of welfare benefit based on one's income and disability and is therefore not an earned benefit. This means that if a person is earning this type of income, it cannot be garnished for child support. However, if the parent is receiving disability, survivor or retirement benefits, those are all fair game. The first step is to go to court and let the judge know that the other parent is delinquent on payments. The judge will issue an order to withhold the support payments, which should be given to the local Social Security office.

Dealing with emotions in a Maryland high asset divorce

A Maryland divorce is difficult for all involved. Many Maryland residents are scared of the process for several reasons. They may be afraid of being labeled a failure. They may be scared of having to split money and other beloved assets. They may also be worried about the effects of divorce on their children. These are all valid concerns. The good news is that we can help, no matter how complex your divorce may seem.

You may have business assets, property, stocks and other types of complicated assets. You may be the breadwinner or a stay-at-home mom. Perhaps, you are childless or have multiple children. Your situation does not matter. We do not use one approach for every divorce. We realize that each divorce is unique and employ a personal touch with each case.

My wife committed adultery - Could she still get alimony?

Maryland is a fault-based state, meaning that there must be legal justification for a divorce. One valid reason is adultery. Although cheating can impact child custody and other parts of a divorce, alimony is one thing that is not affected. This means that, unfortunately for the spouse who was cheated on, he or she may still have to fork over monthly spousal support payments according to Maryland state law.

For the most part, alimony is awarded based on financial need. A spouse who earns a six-figure income likely does not need spousal support to help pay for living expenses after a divorce. But, if a multi-millionaire leaves his wife - a stay-at-home mom - he will likely have to pay a substantial amount of alimony so she can maintain the million-dollar lifestyle she was used to during the marriage.

Searching for hidden assets in a high asset divorce

Maryland is an equitable distribution state, which means that assets are distributed fairly - but not necessarily equally - in a divorce. While a businessman may not necessarily have to give up half of his business when his marriage ends, he might still stand to lose a large percentage of it. This can be disconcerting to an entrepreneur who has invested a lot of time and money into a company. He might turn to desperate measures to hide some of his profits from his soon-to-be ex so she can't get a hold of it. However, this lack of disclosure can actually cause more harm than good.

While this tactic is common in a high asset divorce, it's typically not legitimate. Plus, these hidden assets are almost always discovered eventually. A lawyer can use forensic accountants to uncover strategies that the spouse with the money may have used to protect the assets. These experts are highly skilled at locating these assets through title transfers and bank transactions, so it's not worth the risks.

Dealing with asset division, other issues through limited divorce

In many states, a couple can file for divorce for any reason at any time during the marriage. Maryland, however, is a little different. A no-fault divorce can only be achieved after one year of a mutual separation. If fault can be proven, such as cruelty or adultery, a couple can divorce right away. This is called an absolute divorce, and when a couple cannot obtain one immediately, there is an alternative: limited divorce.

A limited divorce is a legal separation; this option often raises many questions concerning property division. A limited divorce does not split marital assets or allow the couple to remarry, but it does force them to live apart and live their own lives as if they were fully divorced. If the couple is going through a rough patch and is unsure if they want to go through with a divorce, they can try a limited divorce for a trial period and see how their relationship changes. If they do proceed with a divorce, they will have had the time to organize their finances and understand what will happen to their marital property during asset division.

Factors used to determine if joint child custody is viable

In many Maryland divorce cases that involve children, one parent typically has sole custody with the other parent receiving visitation rights. However, in some instances, both parents want to share custody of the children. While the courts typically look at the best interests of the child when deciding on child custody cases, communication is also a key factor when it comes to joint custody. Both parents must be able to amicably make decisions that affect the care and upbringing of their children. Read on to learn more about the other factors used to decide if joint custody is a viable option.

Besides healthy communication, the court will consider the relationship between the child and each parent. Does the child favor one over the other? Plus, both parents must be of sound mind and body. For example, if one parent has anger management issues or suffers from depression, then he or she is not a good fit to care for children on a regular basis. Also, in order for joint custody to work, the parents need to live in close proximity to each other. It's not fair to shuttle children hours away to see the other parent several times a week. Plus, when parents live far away, this can cause disruption to a child's school and personal lives.

What are the purposes of alimony?

When Maryland couples divorce, one party may be able to receive spousal support. This is especially true if one spouse worked while the other stayed home to raise a family. Alimony may also be awarded if both spouses worked, but one earned significantly more than the other. There are two main types of alimony: rehabilitative and reimbursement. This post will discuss these alimony types and when they are awarded.

Rehabilitative alimony is the most common type of spousal support. It is given only as long as needed - which could mean just a few months or several years. It gives the recipient time to attend school and look for gainful employment. When the recipient spouse becomes able to support himself or herself, then the alimony payments can end. The court will review the person's finances from time to time to see if any adjustments are needed.

Divorcing? Keep kids out of child custody issues

Unfortunately, when some Maryland couples divorce, they involve the children way too much. They may try to get the kids to side with one parent by bashing the other parent. They may want to be the custodial parent so bad that they say hurtful things about the other parent, damaging the child's relationship with both parents in the process. The truth is that children need to be kept out of child custody issues during a divorce, and there are several reasons why.

Why a high asset divorce needs a detailed separation agreement

When Maryland couples divorce, they may look to the divorce decree to review negotiations on asset division, child support, child custody and other common divorce issues. However, many lawyers now go a step further and create separation agreements as well. A separation agreement is basically the summary of all the items that the husband and wife have discussed and negotiated on. Our law firm understands the importance of a detailed agreement, and how it is generally a must for something as complex as a high asset divorce.

The ability for the couple to negotiate is crucial. In order to negotiate, a lawyer will analyze the financial situations of both parties. This will include any business assets, stocks, pensions and homes. Once the couple discusses property division, the couple will then discuss spousal support, child support and custody, if applicable. Ideally, the separation agreement will include ways to deal with future disagreements. It may also include future life events, such as remarriage, children, relocation and retirement.

Importance of proper documentation of alimony payments

In many Maryland divorces, one spouse is awarded alimony, even though it is not a requirement. What is required, though, is keeping proper documentation regarding this form of spousal support. Although most spouses detest having to pay alimony, one benefit is that it is tax-deductible. In a messy divorce, it's not uncommon for one spouse to challenge amounts paid or received. Without proper documentation, the IRS or court could order additional alimony payments or cause the payer to lose his or her tax write-off. Read on to find out what records the payer should keep.

Each monthly payment should be thoroughly detailed in a spreadsheet or other document. It should include the amount, date paid, check number and the address the check was sent to. Include carbon copies of all checks used to pay alimony. If using cash, make sure to create a receipt and have the recipient sign it to confirm that he or she has received the amount for alimony payment.

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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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