How Can Someone Prepare For An Impending Divorce?
When preparing for an impending divorce, the best thing that I can advise is to make sure you protect the marital assets. If I represent the plaintiff and there are joint bank accounts, I don’t tell my clients to dissolve or dissipate marital funds, but it is best to place assets in a safe place so we know where all the money is and then let the court allocate the funds as they see best. I like to be the one that has the assets instead of chasing and looking for things when all of a sudden they disappear. In Maryland, there is no automatic injunction, which prohibits movement of assets or taking children out of state during litigation. If I can advise anything is to make sure you protect yourself as far as the custody is concerned and the other party doesn’t run with the child out of the state or move assets, hide assets, things of that nature, because once it’s gone, it’s hard to locate missing assets.
Are There Any Benefits to Filing First for Divorce?
The first to file really makes no difference at all in Maryland. It only means that the original filing party pays the ($165) filing fee. The court doesn’t care who the plaintiff is and doesn’t care who the defendant is. The reason is you can also file a claim against the other person. If the wife or husband disagrees with the allegations, she or he can also file their own complaint (a counterclaim) against the other spouse. They become plaintiffs in their own right.
How Long Does a Divorce Typically Take to Be Finalized In Maryland?
A divorce typically takes two months to a year to be finalized in Maryland. By administrative rules, a divorce case should be wrapped up or completed within one year from the date of filing (the try by date). Unless there is some rare extenuating circumstance, the case has to be complete in one year from the date the case is filed. I’ve had a couple of cases in my practice that have continued past the one year mark. An uncontested case can be finalized as early as two months.
What Are Some Reasons That Someone May Seek a Post-Divorce Modification?
There are usually two reasons that someone may seek a post-divorce modification. Child-related modifications (related to child support and/or child custody); meaning they are no longer satisfied that the other party should have the child or they want more time with the child. The other request is usually for a change to increase the amount of child support received of request a decrease in child support being paid. The other modification usually involves alimony decrease or termination.
How Does Mediation Compare to the Court Process in a Divorce?
Mediation compared to the court process in a divorce only works if you have reasonable parties. If someone is asking for a resolution that is farfetched or just not realistic, then it’s unlikely the matter is going to be resolved in mediation. In Maryland we also have an increasing number of cases that are resolved in via collaborative divorce, which is something like mediation. If the parties are at odds and it’s a situation that is toxic, mediation is just not going to work. Most cases settle prior to trial, which means once litigation begins the case does not proceed all the way through trial. Sometimes adding attorneys to the mix helps diffuse some of the toxicity because cooler heads prevail. Many family law cases are referred to mediation; both divorce cases and custody cases.
Expense wise, mediation may be the best way to go. If you don’t have parties that can speak to each other and get along in an amicable way, it’s just not going to work. You are going to need a third-party involved and sometimes you get a mediator and then the other party claims the mediator’s skewed and/or is biased. If you and your spouse or the other parent have the ability to solve your divorce, custody issues, and/or child support without attorneys, it’s the easiest and the most affordable way to get it done. It requires a lot of give and take that some parties who are in bad relationships are just not up for negotiations.
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