Preparing for Divorce – A Checklist
If your marriage is no longer working and does not appear to be salvageable, it could be time to consult a divorce lawyer. While couples don’t plan on getting divorced when they marry, divorce is a reality of life that affects many people. If you and your spouse have decided that you no longer want to be married. Ahead of your initial consultation with the divorce lawyer, it’s a good idea to call the office and ask if there are any particular documents you should bring with you to help you make the process as smooth and painless as possible.
You’ll need to gather financial documentation. Assets, pay history, taxes, and investments are just a few of the things you’ll need to show your lawyer so that you get the best representation possible. You should also come prepared with questions for your lawyer about his or her experience with divorce cases like yours, and what to expect from the process. Check out this infographic to learn more about meeting with your divorce attorney for the first time. Please feel free to share this information with your friends and family.
Here is also a video on the topic, as you’ll learn by watching this video, you should also bring information pertaining to marital assets, debts, income, and expenses. Additionally, if you and your spouse have children, expect your attorney to ask you about your goals for custody and visitation. The expert in this video also provides some tips on what to look for in a divorce lawyer.
Do You Need a Separation Agreement?
Maryland divorce law requires some divorcing spouses to undergo 12 consecutive months of legal separation before an absolute divorce can be granted. When you talk to a divorce lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn, you can find out whether you may have grounds to divorce sooner than this or if you need a separation agreement. A legal separation is not the same as a divorce; separated spouses are still legally married . However, the separation agreement is still a legally binding document that can resolve the same issues that arise during a divorce, such as a child custody and property division.
During the 12 consecutive months of separation, the spouses must maintain separate residences and abstain from sexual relations with each other. If these conditions are breached, then the period of separation must begin again if the spouses are still intent on divorcing. There is no requirement to finalize the divorce; a legal separation may end in reunification.
Do You Have Grounds to File for a Fault Divorce?
Maryland has stricter divorce laws than many other states. In many cases, it’s necessary to prove that a person has fault-based grounds for an absolute divorce if a 12-month legal separation is not desirable. Speak with a divorce lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn about your particular situation to find out if you may be able to prove a fault basis for divorce.
Infidelity is a common reason for divorce, but many spouses hesitate to seek a fault-based divorce because they believe that adultery is difficult to prove. It can sometimes be challenging to prove adultery, but it is certainly not impossible. All your divorce lawyer needs to prove is that your spouse had the disposition and the opportunity to engage in intercourse outside of marriage; it isn’t necessary to provide definitive documentation of sexual intercourse. For example, a private investigator may take photos of public displays of affection between your spouse and another person. This proves the disposition to commit adultery. Testimony may be admitted to show that your spouse entered the other person’s dwelling and did not leave until the following morning. This proves the opportunity for adultery.
Under Maryland divorce law, desertion may be “actual” or “constructive.” Actual desertion occurs when a spouse leaves the marital home without a justifiable reason. Constructive desertion involves being justified in leaving the marital home, in which case, the spouse who leaves is deserted.
Cruelty of treatment and vicious conduct often involves acts of physical violence committed against a spouse or the minor child. Cruelty may be proven with medical records, police reports, and photographs of injuries. However, cruelty of treatment can also involve emotional or verbal abuse. Cruelty can refer to a pattern of abusive language that is severe enough to threaten the well-being of the other spouse.
A fault-based divorce based on a criminal conviction is among the easiest to prove. All that’s needed is the proper paperwork to prove that your spouse was convicted of a crime and has received either an indeterminate sentence or a sentence of more than three years. At the time of filing for divorce, the spouse must have been incarcerated for 12 months.
What to Do if Your License Is Confiscated in a DUI Stop?
If you’re pulled over on suspicion of DUI in Glen Burnie or Severn, the police officer can confiscate your driver’s license. When this happens, he or she will issue you a paper license, which is only valid for the next 45 days. If you do not act quickly enough, you are facing a suspension of your driving privileges. Get in touch with a defense attorney as soon as possible after being charged with DUI. Your criminal defense lawyer will walk you through the process of requesting an administrative hearing and, of course, he or she will represent your best interests at this hearing. You must request this hearing within 10 days.
The hearing may be scheduled after the 45-day period has expired. However, if you request a hearing within the 10-day period, you can receive an extension of the paper license. This allows you to retain your driving privileges while you await the hearing. However, even if your license is indeed suspended, your DUI attorney may be able to help you obtain a work-restricted driver’s license to allow you to retain your employment.
Divorce in the News: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
When the time has come to file for divorce , you might consider having your divorce lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn try for an out-of-court divorce settlement. That’s exactly what Johnny Depp and Amber Heard did when their marriage ended in scandal. Watch this video to find out the details.
This entertainment reporter provides some background on the case. After being married for just 15 months, Heard filed for divorce from Depp and alleged that Depp had been physically and emotionally abusive. After the two reached a divorce settlement, Heard petitioned to get the domestic violence charges dropped. The settlement involves Depp paying Heard a total of seven million dollars, which Heard has said she will donate to a charity.
Are You a Good Candidate for a No-Fault Divorce?
Before you file divorce papers in Glen Burnie or Severn, it’s necessary to consider whether you meet the requirements to file for divorce and to consider which type of divorce you wish to pursue. Maryland divorce law allows couples to file for fault-based or no-fault divorce. Fault-based divorce is only permitted in certain circumstances, such as when one spouse is accused of desertion, adultery, or other acts of egregious conduct. Most couples will file for no-fault divorce, which does not place blame for the breakdown of the marriage on either spouse.
Before filing for either type of divorce, it’s necessary to meet the residency requirement. At least one of the spouses must still be a resident of the state before filing the court papers. At least one of the spouses must demonstrate residency in Maryland for at least six months prior to filing.
Until recently, the only basis for a no-fault divorce in Maryland was a legal separation. Couples are required to live in separate residences for at least 12 continuous months before filing the paperwork. If they temporarily cohabit the same residence, even for a day, the 12-month period begins all over again. Likewise, if the couple shares sexual intimacy, the 12-month period must start over again. Legal separation is also referred to as limited divorce. A limited divorce proceeds through the court system. It allows a separated couple to settle certain matters while waiting for grounds for an absolute divorce. For example, they could determine the division of property instead of having to wait for the 12-month period to be complete. When a couple has legally separated, they are not legally bound to proceed to divorce. They may decide to reconcile.
Recently, a new Maryland divorce law was passed that allowed certain qualifying couples to bypass the legal separation requirement. The law is based on the mutual consent of the spouses. Spouses can only qualify for this no-fault divorce is they share no children in common and come to an agreement on all issues, such as property division and alimony.
Should You File for Divorce?
Sometimes, the decision to file for divorce comes easily. A spouse may have committed an unforgiveable act of infidelity or perhaps even been incarcerated. There are many fast-developing situations that can prompt the other spouse to consult a divorce lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn. But in many cases, the decision to file for divorce comes after hours of painstaking consideration and emotional upheaval. Often, spouses simply grow apart or fall out of love. If the thought of divorce is already in your mind, then chances are pretty good that there’s at least one major problem with the marriage.
Many people consider unfaithfulness to be unforgiveable. Even when a spouse tries to forgive the other person, it can be very difficult to truly move on and rebuild the marriage. Sometimes, even the mere suspicion of infidelity is enough for a spouse to consider filing for divorce. If you suspect that your spouse has not been faithful to you, it’s time to consider whether the marriage is truly salvageable.
A long marriage—or even a short one—can witness many changes in both spouses. It’s likely that neither of you is exactly the same as when the relationship first started. Changes in personality, lifestyle preferences, life goals, and other traits may encourage emotional disconnection in a marriage. Sometimes, couples simply grow bored with each other. If you look forward to your time alone more than your time with your spouse, this could be an indicator that the two of you have drifted apart over the years.
Communication is everything in a marriage. When spouses can no longer communicate openly with each other, they grow frustrated and even resentful. Simple discussions can frequently lead to passionate arguments, which may be unlikely to resolve with genuine apologies. Sometimes, a marriage counselor can help couples restore the ability to communicate. In many cases, the marriage heads toward divorce.
Substance abuse is a complicated problem that often drives families apart. The person who is abusing drugs may no longer be seem to be the same person to his or her spouse. Substance abuse often involves deceit, broken promises, and financial ruin-all of which can destroy a marriage.
Get the Facts About Divorce Laws in Maryland
If you and your former spouse have made the difficult decision to split up, you should consult with divorce lawyers in Glen Burnie and Severn as soon as possible. A divorce lawyer is well versed in family law and familiar with the family court system. Even if your divorce is amicable, you will need a divorce lawyer to make sure your rights are protected, especially if children are involved. To learn more about Maryland divorce law, continue reading for some answers to frequently asked questions.
Is No-Fault Divorce Permissible?
As your divorce lawyers will advise you, no-fault divorce has recently become legal in almost every state, including Maryland. In the past, family law mandated that couples remain married unless one partner could prove that the other was at fault. While a divorce lawyer may now seek no-fault divorce, which means neither partner was legally responsible for the marriage’s dissolution, your attorney can only secure a no-fault divorce if you and your spouse have been living apart for at least one year without interruption.
What are the Grounds for Fault Divorce?
In Maryland, one spouse may still file for a fault-based divorce if he or she can prove that the other partner was responsible for the demise of their union. Your divorce lawyers will discuss your options with you, but permissible grounds for a fault divorce include adultery, desertion, conviction of certain crimes, insanity, cruelty, and excessively vicious conduct. Desertion occurs if one spouse has been gone for one year, without interruption, and deliberately intended for his or her abandonment of the other partner to be final.
Can Someone Be Legally Justified in Leaving a Marriage?
If your former spouse accuses you of desertion, your divorce lawyer can defend you against the charge by proving that you were justified in leaving the marriage. In that case, you will not be at fault. For example, your ex may have acted in such a way that you felt compelled to leave because he or she threatened your health, reasonable comfort, or self-respect.
Taxes and Your Divorce Case
One issue you may wish to discuss with your divorce lawyer in Severn as you navigate your case is how becoming divorced will impact your taxes. The implication of a divorce can reach beyond simply changing your marital status on your tax returns. This video explains more.
If you are going through a divorce, you must still file as married if your divorce was not finalized on the last day of the year. Filing as head of household or claiming children as dependents can only be done by one spouse, so you should negotiate these terms through your divorce lawyers. Generally, you must have primary child custody to claim your children as dependents. Divorce lawyers can include information about tax rights in your divorce decree, including how custody of children affects the dependent deduction claim.
Facing a Child Custody Dispute
Frequently, the most difficult issue divorcing couples face is child custody. Deciding where the children will live, who has the authority to make important decisions about them, and how you will share the financial responsibility of their care can lead to disputes even in amicable divorces. Child custody lawyers near Severn can not only help you protect your rights as you fight for the custody you want but also ease conflict between you and your ex by acting as intermediaries. If you are facing a child custody dispute , here is what you need to know.
All Agreements Must Happen in Court
Although you and your spouse may have discussed child custody arrangements and even come to an agreement that works for you, custody is not truly set until the deal is finalized in a family law courtroom. That means that your spouse can arbitrarily decide not to abide by your agreement or demand changes to it without any legal recourse for you. It is essential to work with child custody lawyers throughout disputes and negotiations, so that you can ensure that all agreements go through the proper legal channels to avoid future complications.
Children May Have a Say
Courts are committed to make decisions that are in the best interest of the children, and they may welcome input from the children when resolving a custody dispute with parents and child custody lawyers. The weight the court places on what children say varies depending on many factors including age, maturity, reasons for preferences, and parents’ abilities to influence what their children request. Try not to involve your children in your dispute or interfere with your children’s relationship with your ex, as these actions could work against you in court.
Often, courts act to keep children in the home that offers the most stability. For instance, if awarding custody to one parent means that the children would need to change schools, the court may opt to avoid that placement. Courts usually aim to put children with the parent that can provide a home where children can do homework, go to bed on a schedule, have meals cooked for them, and otherwise maintain a stable lifestyle.