The word "annulment" has a certain romance to it. After all, it might be a lot easier if the marriage had never taken place, right? Maryland law does have a process for annulment of marriages considered "voidable." However, it's rarely used and its effect may not be quite what you think.
Many Maryland spouses have a very narrow conception of the divorce process. The end of a marriage is often likened to going to battle with one's spouse. While virtually everyone knows a friend or family member who has experienced a combative divorce, it is important to understand that this is not the only divorce model available to spouses. Collaborative law offers an alternative approach, and one that can make significant strides toward a less contentious divorce.
Many Maryland families struggle with infertility issues. Often, the chosen path to conceiving a child lies in the use of a carefully screened surrogate mother. This path is made possible by women who are able and willing to carry a child to term for another family. The transaction is both profitable for the surrogate and immensely rewarding for the intended parents. However, there are cases in which surrogates can face serious family law matters, as in a recent case that has made national headlines.
When thinking about broaching the subject of a prenuptial agreement, many in Maryland fear that their significant other will interpret the conversation as a sign that the union is not expected to last. This is an outmoded way of thinking about this family law issue, however, and fails to acknowledge the many benefits that can come from the process of drafting a prenup. When a couple sits down and goes over their expectations, an even stronger bond can be formed, which can increase the chances that the marriage will be a success.
Maryland couples who go through a divorce are often focused on the process of dividing marital assets. Aside from child custody matters, property division is one of the most important aspects of divorce. The ramifications can have a huge impact on each spouse's financial stability in the years to come. For some couples, however, struggles over which party will retain the family pet eclipse family law disputes over strictly monetary assets.
Purchasing a home after divorce may seem daunting to some Maryland residents, but it certainly is not an impossible dream. Family law issues like property division can take into account the desire for divorcing spouses to buy homes in the future. Spouses currently going through this process may wish to negotiate provisions in the divorce decree that make it easier to buy homes in the future. In the event that this wasn't taken into consideration before a divorce was finalized, however, there are still steps to take to make a new home a reality.
With more and more Americans living a greater number of years, divorce and remarriages are becoming an increasing phenomenon. It is no surprise, then, that Maryland residents who find themselves contemplating remarriages are also considering steps that they can take to protect the number of assets they have accumulated over the years. Family law matters like these can be critical for those who have more assets by virtue of having lived longer than the stereotypical starry-eyed newlyweds.
We've discussed the growing trend in 'gray' divorce previously ('Divorce rates increasing among baby boomer population,' May 19, 2012), but focused on potential reasons behind the increase. The considerations for older Maryland couples who divorce can be different than those for younger couples due to factors such as increased marital assets and children being grown and out of the home. One recent report goes a step further than simply discussing why older people are divorcing more often and presents tips that baby boomers can consider when going through family law matters such as divorcing at a later stage in life.
Many Maryland men who are recovering alcoholics are currently being treated at the Samaritan House, a treatment center in Anne Arundel County that helps individuals caught up in substance abuse. Alcoholics and drug addicts desperately needed help with their addictions, and they are working to fight the stereotype that alcoholics and drug addicts are lazy or unproductive. Surprising statistics have recently shown that heroin overdose fatalities in Maryland grew by 41 percent in 2012 when compared to 2011. However, as many in Maryland have experienced, addiction can also cause the painful loss of a marriage and often can result in family law matters such as the loss of custody of children.
Many in Maryland have heard about the man that is said to owe approximately $1.2 million in back child support who was recently taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal's Service at a west coast airport. His case may become one of the most sensationalized family law cases that doesn't involve a celebrity. The man has allegedly avoided paying child support to his ex-wife with whom he has two children for over 10 years.