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Rockville MD Divorce Law Blog

Residency requirements for filing for divorce

In order to end a troubled marriage, a person may move to another state and attempt to file for divorce there. However, filing for divorce is not as easy as showing up at a random courthouse. With just a few exceptions, a person must be a resident of the state in which they are filing for divorce. Residency requirements vary by state and range from six weeks to a year. In Maryland, the requirement is one year.

For most couples, the residency requirement is simple to understand. But, in a high asset divorce, determining residency can be challenging, as a couple may have homes all throughout the state, or even in multiple states. They might travel to each of these homes several times a year, so which one is considered their legal residence?

How MD workers avoid child support wage garnishments

When a Maryland struggling single parent is unable to get timely child support payments from an ex, he or she may contact the local child support agency to seek wage garnishment. While this may work for some parents, many paying parents find ways to receive income without having wages garnished. They do this by becoming independent contractors, which means they are either paid cash for their services or as a 1099 employer, which means they are considered self-employed and therefore pay their own taxes. This is an issue that has no doubt affected many Maryland parents who rely on child support to get by.

Many employers have seen instances of new employees quitting after the first paycheck once they notice that their wages are being garnished. These employers later find that the employees have gone on to become independent contractors. This type of worker misclassification is common among the service and construction industries. It does not only affect child support, but taxes and unemployment paid to the state as well. In addition, employers get out of paying workers' compensation and overtime. It is an especially huge problem in Texas and the state is looking for ways to fix this situation.

A personal approach for even the most complex high asset divorce

Divorce is never easy, even when it's a mutually agreed-upon decision. Even in the simplest divorce, there are strong emotions and asset division issues to contend with. In high asset divorces, there are often retirement plans, real estate, business assets, expensive vehicles and other complex issues to deal with. No matter what you own, no two divorces are the same, which is why a personalized approach is key.

It's not uncommon for you to feel confused and out of control once you and your spouse discuss divorce. Divorce means the end of a marriage and it can be a highly emotional experience. To many individuals, a divorce symbolizes failure and that can be a difficult emotion to deal with. On top of that, a divorce encompasses many elements, especially if there are children involved. It's important to have a professional on your side who understands these private matters.

What is and isn't considered alimony for tax purposes?

When many Maryland couples divorce, one party is forced to pay spousal support to the other. This is to even things out financially when the marriage ends, especially if one spouse earns a lot more than the other. However, figuring out what constitutes alimony is not as easy as one would think. While some people write a check directly to their former spouse every month, others make mortgage or life insurance payments that could qualify as alimony for income tax purposes. Read on to find out what is considered alimony.

After a divorce, one spouse may be responsible for paying some bills. However, not all of these payments are considered alimony. For example, child support is not alimony and is therefore not tax deductible. Any non-cash settlements are also not classified as spousal support. Any money the payer spends on maintaining his or her own property is also not considered alimony.

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.

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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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