Making the decision to divorce after many years of marriage is a difficult one. However, it will just be the first of many as you navigate the family court process, and it's important to know what to expect.
The results of a study released this month by the National Center for Health Statistics show an interesting change in people's views about divorce. Even though divorce has become more common over the years, the acceptance of it has moved in the opposite direction.
Under Maryland law, for a couple to obtain an uncontested divorce, they must swear that they have lived apart for at least a year. This means that they may not have spent even one night under the same roof during that time, even if they slept in separate rooms.
Of course, everyone hopes that after their divorce is finalized, their ex-spouse will comply with the terms they've agreed upon. However, too often, that's not the case. Fortunately, there are legal steps that you can take if your ex isn't living up to the terms -- whether it involves child or spousal support, visitation or custody or any other matter spelled out in your documents. A divorce decree, after all, is a court order.
Many of our readers have heard that the number of people divorcing in their 50s and older is increasing. This phenomenon (somewhat unflatteringly named "gray divorce") is occurring even as divorce among all other age groups is decreasing. About 25 percent of all divorces in this country involve at least one spouse who is over 50.
Famous men cheating on their spouses with the nanny seems to have become almost cliche. Just this year, there have been reports that actor/director Ben Affleck and singer Gavin Rossdale's had extramarital relationships with their children's nannies that contributed to the break-up of their marriages to their famous wives (Jennifer Garner and Gwen Stefani). Then there are the cases of actors Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke who ended up marrying their children's nannies.
Divorce impacts all aspects of your life, including your investments. The divorce process is emotional -- and understandably so. However, when it comes to protecting your financial goals, it is best to put aside your emotions and look at things with a level head to ensure you are getting your fair share during divorce negotiations.
Many Maryland family law attorneys advise their clients to stay off of social media during and even perhaps for some time after a divorce. No good can come from seeing what your estranged spouse is up to -- especially if it's more exciting that what you're doing. Further, anything you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites can potentially be used against you in court.
The fall and winter holidays, from Halloween onward, are often among the most stressful for separated and divorced parents. In some cases, Maryland family law attorneys recommend that plans for these holidays be detailed in their clients' parenting plans to help avoid disputes that can make them less enjoyable for parents and children alike.
Even if you don't have children, if you and your ex stay in the same area after you divorce, chances are that you may run into each other from time to time. You may maintain some shared friendships and even family connections. You may both shop at your favorite grocery store or go to the same gym. The bottom line is that you may run into each other.