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Divorce - General, Laws and Process
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You’re dealing with a multitude of emotions that create stress. On top of this, the question of money looms like a storm cloud. While terms like spousal support, alimony and equitable distribution of property are commonplace in our society, the fact remains that not many people have a firm grasp on what they entail.
Some divorces are more unpleasant than others, and some are necessary to clear away a mistake that blocks you from leading a better life. This web site describes many things; some will apply in your case and some will not. However, knowing those that apply will help you avoid some problems and deal better with others. It does not and cannot cover all of the issues, laws, or rules involved.
Under Maryland law, if you have a will in existence at the time you get an absolute divorce, the provisions in the will relating to your ex-spouse are considered to be automatically revoked.
A monetary award is an order from the court giving to one party a financial award in an absolute divorce case. There is a three step process the court goes through to determine whether or nor a monetary award is appropriate.
Each of the 23 Maryland counties (as well at the City of Baltimore) has its own Circuit Court that handles family law cases. A family law case over which a Maryland court has jurisdiction can be filed by a party against another party in the Circuit Court for the county where the second party (the defendant) either lives, carries on a regular business, is employed, or habitually engages in a vocation
In divorce cases that were filed prior to October 1, 2006, a court has limited authority over a home owned by a divorcing couple that is used as their primary residence.
In Maryland, there are 8 grounds for divorce: adultery; desertion for 12 continuous months; voluntary separation for 12 continuous months; two-year separation; conviction of a felony or misdemeanor with incarceration for at least 1 year under a sentence of 3 or more years; insanity, with the spouse institutionalized for at least 3 years and the insanity is incurable; cruelty of treatment; or excessively vicious conduct.
Your divorce case is uncontested if you and your spouse agree to divorce and all issues related to the marriage have been resolved. A contested divorce is where the grounds for divorce and/or any issues related to the marriage are in dispute, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property disposition.
A no fault divorce is where neither spouse is considered responsible for the breakup of the marriage
To obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery in Maryland, you must prove that your spouse had the opportunity and disposition to commit adultery.
A limited divorce is a divorce from bed and board. It grants spouses the right to live separate and apart from one another, although they remain as husband and wife and cannot remarry.
A spouse can file for an absolute divorce on grounds of adultery while still living together. A spouse can file for a limited or absolute divorce on grounds of abuse (known as excessively vicious conduct or cruelty of treatment) while still living together.
If the home is jointly titled or leased, you cannot force your spouse to leave the home (e.g. by changing the locks and precluding access). Each spouse has an equal right to stay and live in a jointly owned or leased home.
Pendente lite is Latin for pending litigation and refers to temporary relief the Court can award to spouses while their divorce litigation is pending.
You can file for divorce in Maryland if you or your spouse have resided in Maryland for at least one year prior to the filing of the Complaint for divorce or if the grounds for divorce occurred in Maryland.
Interspousal immunity is a common law doctrine which prohibits spouses from suing each other.
Yes, in Maryland the Court can require one spouse to continue or reinstate (if cancelled) the other spouse on their group health insurance policy.
Absent a written Agreement between the parties, the Maryland Court cannot require either spouse to maintain life insurance for the other spouse’s benefit or for a child’s benefit.
People getting divorced often need more cash than is readily available. There may be one-time expenses related to the transition, such as making a down payment on a new house or paying attorney’s fees.
Many psychologists and other therapists have tips and suggestions on how best to help your children at times like these. One organization that provides a very good pamphlet and other information is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
The emotional impact of a divorce can be intense, and has lots of highs and lows - and upside down and sideways turns as well. Like a roller coaster ride that you didn’t buy a ticket for, the emotions that emerge during divorce can come and go unpredictably
Voluntary separation is when two parties agree that they need to go their own ways. Even though it may not start out as a voluntary situation, the parties can eventually come to a mutual agreement that separation was inevitable.
An absolute divorce terminates the marriage, allows the parties to remarry, and enables a court having jurisdiction to determine property, support and parenting issues between the parties.
Try and sit down with your spouse to discuss your marital problems. Even if they raise their voice, don’t succumb to the urge of screaming back. Keep control of the situation
Maryland law requires equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The court determines a fair award of property and debt. Unless the couple can reach a settlement, the court divides the marital property, pension, retirement, profit sharing or deferred-compensation plans. The court considers contributions of each party, the well being of the family, the property value, the economic circumstances of each spouse as well as current situations such as age, mental state, the duration of the marriage, and the interest each party has in the property.
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