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Rockville, Maryland, Family Law Blog

When does alimony end?

Many types of court orders can come out of a Maryland divorce. One is an alimony award. When one person is ordered to pay alimony to another, how long does this obligation last?

It depends. For one, the specific terms of the alimony award have an impact on this front. Generally, among the things courts set in such an order is the period of time that alimony is to be paid.

Can I seek additional parenting time or custody?

There are so many extenuating circumstances that make it difficult for a divorced parent to see their child. Maybe at the time your work schedule made visitation impossible; maybe you didn’t have a residence suitable for a child; maybe transportation was an issue.

Whatever the reasons were, let’s assume they are no longer an issue. Life never stands still, and people’s positions are often improving. This leaves a major question: can I seek additional time with my child now?

Why a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea

People in Maryland who are getting married may want to consider a prenup, particularly if they own a business, have a blended family or are getting married for the second time. A person who is bringing assets into the marriage may want a prenup that will protect those assets.

The same may be true if one spouse is likely to run up debts. With a prenup, the other spouse will not be saddled with those debts if the two divorce. If one person has a business and there is no prenup, in a divorce, the spouse could get part of the business. A prenup can even be used to decide who will get the pets.

How to co-parent during a divorce

Maryland parents who choose to get a divorce will still need to find a way to raise their children together. Doing so can help the children understand that they are loved and cared for regardless of how their parents feel about each other. Furthermore, when parents work together, it shows the child how to effectively solve problems. Ultimately, both the parents and the children will likely feel less stress throughout and after the divorce process.

A parent should acknowledge and advocate for the child's relationship with the other parent. The only exception would be if the other parent is abusive or would otherwise put the child's health or safety in jeopardy. Generally speaking, this means putting aside feelings for a former spouse and understanding that a child does better with both parents in his or her life. Those who are struggling to cope during a divorce should not lash out at their former spouse or put their child in the middle of a dispute.

Divorced parents in Maryland can enjoy a good school year

As children and parents get back into the rhythm of a new school year, there are routines to coordinate and plans to make. When a divorce means that children divide their time between two households, the scheme of things can get complicated. If possible, it may help everyone involved to work together on certain issues so that the school year can run more smoothly.

The tax rules dealing with alimony will soon change

Divorced spouses in Maryland who pay alimony have been allowed to deduct these payments on their tax returns since the Revenue Act was passed in 1942. However, this rule will be changed in January 2019 when certain provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act go into effect. Under the new income tax rules, alimony is no longer a deductible expense for those who pay it. Furthermore, those who receive spousal support are not required to report the payments as income.

Resolving parental conflicts over rules

When parents in Maryland go through a divorce, they may face a difficult adjustment period, especially when each party takes a different approach to house rules and other child-rearing decisions. Parents who have joint custody may see their kids switch back and forth from one set of rules to another. However, both parents can work together in order to support their children and help to avoid confusion and disorientation.

Understanding child support cases

Parents in Maryland may sometimes find themselves confused about the topic of child support payments. This is often because there are multiple ways the payment arrangements could be set up. While having different types of child support cases can be confusing, they are necessary so that the government is able to be aware of the families that require additional financial assistance.

IV-D child support cases are those in which custodial parents are assisted by the Office of Child Support Enforcement. The agency may help with establishing paternity, finding non-custodial parents or enforcing the terms of a child support order.

Educational debt factor in divorces

While finances are often a source of tension in marriages, Maryland couples might be surprised to learn that college loans have been identified by some people as the reason their marriages failed. As the costs of college continue to rise, it seems that the consequences resulting from the loans taken to pay for higher education are also rising.

In a study by website Study Loan Hero, 13 percent of responders blamed college loans specifically as the reason their marriage failed. Over a third of all responders said college loans and other financial matters were the reason for their divorce. College loans do have a significant weight on relationship matters as the average educational debt is around $34,144. Students who graduated in 2017 had an average debt of $39,400. Additionally, students owing $50,000 or more tripled over the last decade. Millennials seem to be the ones most affected by these changes since only 50 percent seem on track to eventually earn more than their parents.

Can a forensic accountant be helpful in your divorce?

In divorce cases that are financially complex, there are specialists who you can call upon for assistance. Your marital assets may be extensive, and your spouse may know more about them than you do.

If you suspect that he may not be entirely transparent in terms of property division, investigation by a forensic accountant might be in order.

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