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Considering a Divorce?  Review this “Divorce Checklist”

on Dec 17, 2017 in Divorce

If you are considering divorce during this holiday season, you are not alone.  While fewer people actually file for divorce in December, divorce filings start to increase in January and continue to increase through March of each year.  If you are considering divorce, take some time to review this divorce checklist.  While it may not include absolutely everything your particular situation calls for, it will give you a good head start on the process. Divorce Checklist: Gather Documents In order to make intelligent decisions about dividing assets and debts, your lawyer and your legal team will need to know certain information.  While gathering this information may seem tedious right now, it is essential to a fair and equitable divorce. Financial…

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Collaborative Law Divorce – How Do You Know if It Is Right for You?

on Dec 12, 2017 in Divorce

Once you have made the difficult decision to divorce, it next becomes time to determine how to divorce.  Believe it or not, you have several options.  One of your many options is choosing a collaborative law attorney to assist you in your divorce.  Collaborative law is not an approach suitable for all divorces.  However, in the right case, a collaborative law divorce can save you time, money, and heartache, as well as the uncertainty that comes with litigation.  How do you know if collaborative law is right for you? A Collaborative Law Divorce May be Appropriate if You Are Not Interested in Litigation In certain divorce cases, litigation is, or appears early on to be the only option.  If you…

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Co-Parenting Strategies

on Dec 6, 2017 in Divorce

Most families going through divorce manage to maintain some contact through the children.  Whether you made the decision to divorce as a team, or one person unilaterally made the decision to divorce, you will always have children in common.  Different couples find different ways to co-parent the children.  Without question, co-parenting is better for the children, as opposed to two parents both unilaterally parenting children in common with no communication between the adults.  Obviously, there are some exceptions to this approach, including where there is a history of physical or sexual abuse by one parent.  However, in most situations, each parent will have at least some contact with the children.  In those situations, co-parenting strategies can be applied. There is…

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When You Cannot Agree on Child Custody and Parenting Time. . .

on Dec 5, 2017 in Child Custody

These days, many, if not most couples, are able to come to some agreement on child custody and parenting time arrangements.  Even couples who do not begin divorce proceedings on the same page often manage to come to agreement after working with their lawyers.  Sometimes, these agreements are also helped along by collaborative divorce proceedings or mediation.  However, there are times when parents just cannot agree about child custody and parenting time issues.  When all attempts to come to agreement about child custody fail, a judge decides child custody and parenting time. While a judge considers these important matters, who gets the children, for how long, and under what conditions, there are certain behaviors that should be avoided at all…

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4 Mediation Benefits to Consider

on Nov 29, 2017 in Divorce

If you are facing a divorce, you have a lot of choices to make.  Once you decide divorce may be the right solution for you and your family, your first task is finding the right divorce attorney.  After that has been accomplished, you will be asked to identify and list all property, discuss the needs of the children, review retirement accounts, and a host of other details.  At some point, you may be asked to consider mediation.  Of course, there are many benefits to mediation.  A few of these benefits are discussed below. Mediation is Not Binding If you and your spouse cannot agree on property division, alimony, child support, and parenting time, you can go to court and litigate…

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Considerations When Deciding Whether to Keep or Change Your Last Name

on Nov 25, 2017 in Divorce

When women divorce, consideration must be given to whether or not to keep their married name.  There are arguments both for and against keeping one’s last name. As with many decisions during the divorce process, there is no simple answer to the question.  What works for one woman will not feel right for another.  Below are some considerations frequently mentioned by women who have made the decision to keep their married name, or revert to their maiden name. Your Last Name as Your Identity Many people consider their last name as part of their identity.  This can cut both ways.  If you have only been married a short period of time, you may wish to revert back to your maiden…

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Why a Prenuptial Agreement is Something to be Thankful For

on Nov 23, 2017 in Divorce

Many people think a prenuptial agreement is an acknowledgement, before the marriage even gets started, that the marriage is doomed to end in divorce.  These people probably aren’t people who have dealt with the pain of a divorce.  In the worst cases, divorce can require complex and drawn out litigation, fighting about every piece of property, every possession, every minute of parenting time, and every penny of alimony.  A prenuptial agreement can prevent nearly all litigation.  This saves time, emotional investment, and, frankly, sizable attorney’s fees. Prenuptial Agreements Provide Clarity Couples with prenuptial agreements don’t have to worry about the uncertainty of whether alimony will be awarded, or in what amounts.  Alimony is one of many things that can be…

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Child Support in Maryland: Frequently Asked Questions

on Nov 19, 2017 in Child Support

How is child support in Maryland calculated? Maryland has child support guidelines.  These guidelines include a basic mathematical formula used for determining child support in Maryland.  The calculation is based on each parent’s gross income. Are there exceptions to the standard calculation? Yes.  If the combined income of both parents is more than $15,000 per month, the courts make child support determinations based on the needs of the children. Additionally, parties have the opportunity to establish the guidelines are inappropriate or unjust in a particular case.   However, these situations are rare. Are there other forms of child support in Maryland, besides a mathematical formula for income? Yes.  Child support may also include providing health insurance and dental insurance, or a…

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Maintaining Ties Between Children and Extended Family after Divorce

on Nov 14, 2017 in Child Custody, Divorce

In the early days, ongoing relationships between your children and extended family after divorce is rarely high on the priority list.  However, with the holidays coming, considering extended family and ongoing relations is at hand. Reassuring the Children When couples divorce, reassuring the children about ongoing relationships with those they love is paramount.  As a starting point, discussing the division of parenting time provides the children with assurances they will continue enjoying the love and presence of both parents.  It may take several weeks of sharing parenting time for the children to adjust to the new schedule.  Once the new schedule becomes routine, it is time to move on to navigating relationships with extended family after divorce. Continuing relationships with…

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Stressed about Going to Court? 5 Strategies to Reduce Stress Ahead of Time

on Nov 13, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce

Most lay people find going to court a stressful situation.  Because it is often unfamiliar, court seems scary – and it can be.  If you have hidden assets, mislead your attorney, or provided false information during previous proceedings, you should immediately tell your family law attorney.  We cannot stress this enough.  These things have a way of coming out in court.  Optimally, none of these situations describe you.  However, if they do, or if you have a sneaking suspicion something else you have – or haven’t done – could result in disaster on the stand, the time to come clean is now.  Your attorney is your advocate.  Many times, your attorney has the ability to rectify the situation.  But this…

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