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Rockville, Maryland, Family Law Blog

How can you divide your property during divorce in Maryland?

Dividing your property may not be easy, depending on how long you've been married and how intertwined your finances are. Maryland is an equitable distribution state, so you and your spouse are not guaranteed to receive 50% of your marital property. Instead, you will need to negotiate to determine a fair split of your property. If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it will take precedent as long as it is valid.

There are many assets that you may have that are considered marital property. For example, some common assets include:

  • Personal vehicles
  • Shared savings or checking accounts
  • Homes or other properties
  • Furniture
  • Boats
  • Artwork
  • Stocks and bonds

Decide on a custody schedule to move forward with divorce

Divorce is hard enough, but when you have children involved, the complexity increases significantly. You want to guarantee that your child has the best possible future. That means that you and your spouse have to work together to raise them despite your disagreements and history.

Child custody arrangements can be difficult to agree on but by no means impossible. There are dozens of ways to arrange custody, and each situation may require creative thinking to get the schedule just right. It is most important that you and your spouse will be able to agree on a custody schedule after your divorce and be flexible if and when minor changes are needed.

Divorce: It can prompt back-to-school problems

You're likely one of many Maryland parents who is feeling a bit overwhelmed at this time as you gear up for another back-to-school season. Perhaps, you have a child who is entering Kindergarten or a growing teenager who is starting his or her senior year. You might be filled with emotion, wondering where time has gone.

If you also happen to be one of many Maryland parents who filed for divorce over the summer, you might be concerned about your children's ability to cope and concerned about how your situation might affect their back-to-school season. It's definitely true that kids often experience a wide range of emotions when their parents divorce. However, if you build a strong support network from the start, your children will likely fare well.

For financial security during divorce: Get a budget

When you divorce, one of the things you may worry about is your financial independence. You might have relied on your spouse for money, or you may have only worked part-time while you cared for your family. Now, as you divorce, you may not be on sure financial footing.

To stay secure during and after your divorce, you need to have a clear head when you work through your property division settlement and while you get your budget in order during your divorce. You must know the expenses you have and what you need to be able to survive after your divorce. If you were the lesser-earning spouse, you may be able to seek help through spousal support or be able to ask for a greater portion of assets to help you get by.

You may have a right to alimony: Find out more

Alimony can be a difficult topic to bring up, but if you've been a stay-at-home parent, it's one that you may need to talk about sooner rather than later.

When you have put your career aside for your spouse, it's fair to ask that they compensate you as you get back into the workforce. That is part of the reason that some people seek alimony. Alimony can be a good way to get some additional income, so you're able to focus on advancing your own career without the stress of financial worries.

Yes, DNA testing can be wrong: Here's how

Did you know that a DNA match to your child isn't necessarily a guarantee that you're the parent? There are very few exceptions when that happens, but it can and does occur.

Paternity fraud happens, and it's normal for some people to believe that a man is the father of their child when he is not. However, there are extreme cases where a mother might submit the DNA of the possible father's biological child instead of the newborn, resulting in a positive result when there may not have been one otherwise. Similarly, a man might swamp out his DNA for someone else's to avoid paternity.

Know Maryland's laws to make property division easier

Maryland is an equitable distribution state, which means that you and your spouse will need to divide your property equitably upon divorce. Since there is no law to require you to split your property equally, there is no guarantee that you will receive half of the marital assets. To protect your interests, it's a good idea to inform your attorney about your divorce and to begin working on negotiations right away.

Some people are able to come up with property division agreements very quickly. For example, if you and your spouse agree that you both invested into your marriage and would like to split everything 50-50, it might be simple for you to divide your property. However, in other cases, you or your spouse might want to fight for more of your property based on the needs you'll have in the future or the amount of money you put into your marriage.

Losing your job could affect your divorce

The divorce process has many parameters that each spouse must consider. The division of assets and property, how to handle child custody, and the possibility of spousal or child support are just some of the issues. It is not something that most people take lightly.

There are so many things that can change the circumstances around a pending or completed divorce agreement. One potential problem that you and your ex may end up navigating here in Maryland is the loss of one of your jobs. It can be a stressful event on its own, but when coupled with divorce, it raises many questions. Fortunately, if this happens during your divorce, experts have advice that can help.

Understanding alimony: Know what to expect

One thing that many couples don't want to talk about during a divorce is alimony. Alimony, which is also known as spousal support, is an important factor in some divorces. It is particularly common for a couple to have to discuss alimony if they have a large discrepancy in income.

For example, if you were a stay-at-home mom and gave up your career to watch your children, it may be very difficult for you to return to the workforce. Even if you can return to the workforce right away, you may not be making as much money as you would have if you had been working instead of staying home with your children. Regardless of your reasoning for staying home, your spouse may need to pay spousal support to you until your income improves.

Resolve your disputes if you want to end your marriage quickly

Divorces can drive you crazy, making you frustrated and annoy you because of the actions of the other party. At the end of the day, all you want is to move on.

It may seem like your spouse is trying to hold you back, but both of you may be trying to do what's best for you and not doing much in the way of negotiating. If that's the case, then you should both start thinking about ways to negotiate with one another.

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