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Family Law Archives

Considering the best interests of pets in a marital break-up

For many divorcing couples, one of the most difficult and emotional decisions they have to make is who will get custody of the family pets. Under the law, they are considered property. Therefore, decisions regarding who gets the companion animals, if left to a judge to decide, are often based on who purchased and financially supports the pets rather than what is in their best interests. However, for many people, pets are part of the family.

Helping Maryland couples draft separation agreements

Some Maryland couples who seriously contemplate divorce decide to draft a separation agreement. This type of agreement can detail your resolution of a number of issues that will need to be addressed during their separation. It also helps couples think about the things that they'll need to deal with if they decide to move on to a divorce.

Is winning the house in a divorce settlement worth it?

From an outsider's prospective, getting the house in a divorce may be seen as a major victory. After all, for most couples, their homes are their most valuable assets. Plus, for those parents that retain custody of the kids, it's nice to still have adequate space to accommodate them. Yet in many cases, getting the house as part of a property division settlement can be as much of a curse for some as it is a blessing for others.

What's the difference between divorce and annulment in Maryland?

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.

Collaborative law offers a kinder, gentler divorce option

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.

Can surrogate mothers suffer within family law matters?

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.

The hidden family law benefits of a prenuptial agreement

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.

Pet "custody" a growing family law issue

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.

Family law negotiations now can make buying homes later easier

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.

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