Phone: 301-738-7770
Steven J. Gaba
Phone: 301-738-7770

Bethesda MD Family Law Blog

Navigating child custody after a felony charge

Everyone makes mistakes -- it is simply part of human life. Yet the ways those mistakes are legally measured can result in potentially devastating outcomes. Countless Maryland residents live with felonies on their records, and while these offenses carry varying penalties, some live with the baggage for many years. This baggage can often be hard to explain for parents with children, especially amidst a divorce. All family issues and criminal charges aside, what typically matters most is the security of family. 

Lifestyle magazine Livestrong shares this concern regarding convicted felons and their children. And it appears they are not alone -- an article published last June noted the statistic that 6 percent of U.S. adults are convicted felons. Again, although a parent's rights to their child depends on the type of crime they have committed, Livestrong lists some offenses that likely have negative outcomes:

  • Child abuse
  • Sexually related felonies involving children
  • Child endangerment

Understanding uncontested divorce

Several of those that we here at the office of Steven J. Gaba have worked with in the past may tell you that going through divorce proceedings is a time-consuming and often costly affair. In some cases in Rockville, circumstances may make contested divorce proceedings necessary. Yet if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse want to have your marriage dissolved quickly (and are willing to work together toward that end), then you may want consider the merits of an uncontested divorce. 

In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse both recognize that the decision to split is mutual and that neither of you places any fault on the other for ending the marriage. Additionally, you must agree on all divorce-related matters, including: 

  • Asset and debt division
  • Alimony
  • Child custody
  • Child support

The details of adult public guardianship

When a loved one becomes incapable of performing basic self-care, it can be difficult to decide on a future plan. Needless to say, adult guardianship can change many aspects of life, and can significantly alter schedules and daily activities. Depending on the disability, this type of care can span an entire lifetime. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the many approaches one can take when considering legal adult guardianship in Maryland.

Early last year, a story from The Baltimore Sun encouraged readers with disabled children to start future planning sooner than later. Why? According to The Sun, special needs children often require extended assistance to move forward into adulthood. The Howard County Autism Society points out that, while the state offers funding for special education for disabled children, this funding ends when a child graduates high school or turns 21. This shift in support can come as a shock to many families. The Autism Society stresses the importance of learning about different needs post-high school, including transportation, housing and employment opportunities. Types of guardianship can also depend on a child's specific needs.

Reviewing debt division during divorce

Most of the married residents of Rockville may be more than happy to share everything with their spouses. That includes their debts. Yet once people decide to end their marriages, such altruism also often ends with it. One might look as his or her limited role in assuming a liability and question whether or not he or she should be held responsible for it. While it may be well known that divorcing couples are typically required to divide their property between each other, many often also wonder if they have to do the same with their debts. 

The answer depends upon the nature of the debt. There are certain liabilities that are often inextricably linked to marriage (such as the purchase of a marital home). Typically, the responsibility to resolve such debts is joint. One might say that, in general, any debt that a couple assumes while married is shared (even after the marriage ends). Conversely, a debt assumed by one prior to getting married is separate. Indeed, this is confirmed in Section 4-301(a) of Maryland's state statutes

Reviewing the qualifications for adult guardianship

Like most in Rockville, you do not ever anticipate being in a position where you would be unable to make decisions for yourself. Yet you never know when injury or illness could leave you without the capabilities to do so. When this happens, people often come to us here at The Law Office of Steven J. Gaba concerned over who will be might be named their loved one's guardian. While you might dismiss the idea of needing to know this information now, having this understanding may be helpful once you seriously start planning for your future. 

First, you should understand the circumstances in which you might need to be appointed a guardian. Section 13-201(c) of the state's Estates and Trusts Code defines those as being situations where your ability to manage your property and affairs effectively is hindered by: 

  • Physical or mental disability 
  • Disease
  • Habitual drunkenness or addiction to drugs
  • Imprisonment, confinement, or detention by a foreign power
  • Compulsory hospitalization 
  • Disappearance

Things to consider before signing a prenup

The proliferation of reality shows and pop culture news have arguably made prenuptial agreements a mainstream phenomenon. For the uninitiated, a prenuptial agreement is basically a contract where couples agree to follow certain terms and conditions in the event of a divorce. Prenups are commonly used to narrow the issues when it comes to property division, so there are fewer arguments over what can be considered marital property as opposed to separate property.

So if you are considering a prenup, here are some basic things to be aware of before signing.

Make sure you think about your options in a divorce

Your divorce requires your undivided attention so that you make the best decisions. Unfortunately, the need to make these decisions comes at a time when you are likely emotionally raw and feel like you are living in a nightmare. This is especially true if you are going through the divorce unexpectedly.

We understand that the divorce might have blindsided you. Even if this is the case and you didn't have time to prepare for the divorce, we can help you figure out your options for protecting your interests, both now and in the future. Time is of the essence in these matters.

What are the different types of alimony that might be ordered?

The question of alimony doesn't come up in every divorce, but it is possible that it will come up in some. Whether you are the person who is being asked to pay or the person who will receive, you should know a few basic points about alimony.

When alimony is awarded, the court can use different types of alimony in the order. Not all of these serve the same purpose, so you must make sure you understand each type.

Evaluate the options you have for property division in divorce

The end of a marriage isn't a situation that brings out the best in people, but you can overcome the challenges that you are facing. You might have to work hard to come out on top, but it will be well worth it when you shine after the divorce.

One thing that you might need to think about when you learn that the marriage is over is how you are going to handle assets and debts. These considerations are very important because they can make or break your financial future in many ways.

Back-to-school tips for noncustodial parents

If you are like many noncustodial parents, you may have a visit with your child planned in the coming weeks now that school is back in session. Schedules are tighter during the school year so you value the time with your child. However, this limited time may lead you to feel pressured to overspend, over-plan or even unknowingly overstep boundaries.

If you are getting ready for an upcoming visit from your noncustodial child, you may find that it goes more smoothly if you take care to do the following.

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