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Rockville, Maryland, Family Law Blog

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.

If you're protecting your kids, can you break custody orders?

There is never a time when parents want to see their children in danger or getting hurt. Sadly, there are cases of domestic violence that involve children. One parent may be verbally abusive, physically violent or be harmful in other ways.

If you find out that your child is in harm's way, you will likely stop at nothing to keep them safe, but can you break the custody order without the potential to lose custody completely? The answer is yes, so long as you have reasonable concerns.

A prenuptial agreement can make property division easier

By now, most people understand that prenuptial agreements are for everyone and not just for the very wealthy. Still, you might not be sure whether signing a prenup is right for you. There are still many misconceptions about what a prenuptial agreement does and how it can protect you and your soon-to-be spouse.

Some people fear that signing a prenuptial agreement is a sign that their marriage will end in divorce. Others worry about how it will look if they ask for a prenup. Here are a few prenuptial agreement basics that can help you decide what is best for your relationship.

Raise your child with the same expectations: Parenting plans

When you and your spouse struggled to agree on how to raise your child while you were married, you thought that the issue was down to different parenting styles. Today, as you go through divorce, you believe it's more to do with control.

However, you and your ex-spouse can't continue to fight and raise your child. It's not fair, and it won't give your child the security they need to grow up strong and independent. You and your ex-spouse should consider a firm parenting plan long before you finalize your divorce, so you know what you expect from one another.

Should you set up an automatic withdrawal for child support?

Child support is not about the parents, it's about the children in their lives. Children in Maryland have a right to receive support from both parents, regardless of how their parents feel about one another.

When a parent is not good about paying child support on time or would like to make sure that they're always paying by direct withdrawal, the support amount can be withheld from their paycheck. There is a limit on how much money can be taken. The Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, CCPA, is the basis for the limit.

Understand alimony pendente lite and your rights

There are a few kinds of alimony in Maryland. These include alimony pendente lite, temporary alimony and indefinite alimony. Most people have heard of rehabilitative and indefinite alimony, but if you haven't heard of pendente lite, you're not alone.

Alimony pendente lite refers to alimony that you receive between the time when you file for your divorce and when the divorce is final. This kind of alimony is typically ordered to maintain your "status quo" throughout the divorce. While it's helpful, getting pendente lite alimony does not guarantee that you will receive alimony of another sort following your divorce.

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