Steven J. Gaba - Rockville Family Law Attorney
Call Me Today:
301-738-7770

Bethesda MD Family Law Blog

Should I sign a prenuptial agreement?

You might not think that you need a prenuptial agreement when getting married. However, if you're bringing assets into the union, it's a good idea to have paperwork in place explaining who owns what and how assets will be distributed in the event of a divorce. While this subject can be difficult to broach during the lead up to a marriage, it's crucial to ensure you and your spouse remain protected financially. Bankrate explains a few of the basics regarding prenuptial agreements. 

Prenups are concerned with assets or property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage taking place. This is usually applicable to people who are entering into a second marriage or those who are older when they get married. While you might think it can be easy to delineate who owned what coming into the marriage in event of a divorce, this is rarely the case. The truth is assets often become intermingled, which means it's much harder to separate them when the time comes. 

Uncovering hidden assets during a divorce

Maryland divorces often result when trust between spouses breaks down. When this occurs, one or both of you may take steps to hide assets from the other in an attempt to protect yourself. In complex divorces, the value of uncovered assets can make a significant difference in the settlement amount. At Steven J. Gaba we often assist high net worth clients identify and protect specific assets.

According to Forbes, it is beneficial to inventory accounts, real estate and other assets as soon as you know the divorce is coming. This can help ensure the resolution is an equitable division of property. There are several ways your spouse can hide assets.

Do I need an adult guardian to fill estate planning gaps?

Sometimes it is obvious an adult is too incapacitated to make important life decisions or exercise proper self-care. However, some Rockville adults are able to make preparations for their future through certain estate planning documents. This does not mean, however, that your sibling or parent in Maryland might not have left some gaps in planning for the future. Someday an adult guardian might be needed to handle those lack of provisions.

Caring.com explains the different areas of a person’s life that could be overlooked. For example, your father or mother may have neglected to prepare a power of attorney to handle financial decisions. Conversely, your parents may have prepared a POA for financial matters but failed to create documents that will designate future medical decisions, like a living will or a medical directive.

Multiple arrest made in child abduction case

It may come as little surprise that divorce proceedings in Rockville often involve a good deal of emotion. In many cases, that emotion in manifest in child custody hearings. Parents often enter into such proceedings prepared to do battle, as they are sure that their kids' best interest is only served by staying with them (and, be extension, not being with their ex-spouses). Yet one might wonder whether their motives are less driven by what they believe to be best for their kids and more by their feelings towards the circumstances that led to the end of their marriages. Ultimately, whatever the reason behind a custody dispute, the hope is that the emotion that goes into them will not prompt one parent to do something rash. 

That appears to be exactly what happened in the case of a Missouri woman who is currently facing felony child abduction charges. Authorities say that she took off with her daughter (over whom she does not have custody) before subsequently being apprehended in North Carolina (although it did take three years to find her). Since the woman's arrest, two other women have also been arrested for hindering the investigation (both have since been released on bail). Although they share the same last name as the child's mother, the women's exact relationship with her was not detailed. 

Is alternative dispute resolution an option in a high conflict divorce?

Even when divorce is the best option for a couple, it is still emotionally and financially difficult in many cases. There are often advantages in using alternative dispute resolution, but Maryland couples who are in high conflict may think the courtroom is their only option. However, ADR is often a great approach for couples with difficulty agreeing on how to separate.   

An article in Divorce Magazine.com addresses the myth that ADR is only an option for amicable couples. While it is tempting to view mediation as open only to parties who are on friendly terms, the opposite is true. Litigation expenses can skyrocket in a high conflict divorce. Furthermore, in divorce proceedings, a judge determines the final terms. In a hostile separation, those terms may be unlikely to be followed.

Is alternative dispute resolution an option in a high conflict divorce?

Even when divorce is the best option for a couple, it is still emotionally and financially difficult in many cases. There are often advantages in using alternative dispute resolution, but Maryland couples who are in high conflict may think the courtroom is their only option. However, ADR is often a great approach for couples with difficulty agreeing on how to separate.

An article in Divorce Magazine.com addresses the myth that ADR is only an option for amicable couples. While it is tempting to view mediation as open only to parties who are on friendly terms, the opposite is true. Litigation expenses can skyrocket in a high conflict divorce. Furthermore, in divorce proceedings, a judge determines the final terms. In a hostile separation, those terms may be unlikely to be followed.

Relocating with your child after divorce

When a marriage falls apart, every couple has a different experience with regard to the divorce process. For some, relocation is another issue to deal with in the wake of a divorce. For example, one spouse may retain the family home while another has to look for a new place to live. Or, someone may want to pursue new opportunities now that they are no longer with their spouse, such as a job that is located in another city or even across the country. However, there are a number of issues to take into consideration if you plan on moving after your divorce, especially if you will be bringing a child with you.

First of all, you should carefully review the ins and outs of parental relocation and make sure that you live up to your obligations with respect to the child’s other parent. Next, it may be helpful to approach the move from your child’s point of view and explain some of the reasons behind your decision to relocate. Sometimes, kids are unhappy with relocation because they will have to leave behind friends and they will not be able to visit with relatives as often, but it may be very helpful for you to answer questions and reassure them.

Going through a high-asset divorce at an older age

There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to splitting up with your spouse, such as the financial impact and how this move may affect your kids (and even your grandchildren). The emotional toll of divorce can be tough, and the financial impact of a divorce should not be overlooked, either—especially for those who have a high net worth. Moreover, more and more people are ending their marriages at an older age, which can bring up additional concerns. However, by taking the correct approach to your divorce, a brighter future may be around the corner.

Sometimes, people feel so overwhelmed by the various stressors they may have to deal with during the divorce process and simply decide to stay in the marriage. For example, they worry about the financial toll of divorce and how their assets may be divided by the court. Moreover, they may worry that various age-related issues they are dealing with, such as health concerns, will make it especially hard for them to deal with divorce at this time.

Do you need a forensic accountant on your legal team?

If you and your spouse are a high-asset Maryland couple preparing for a divorce, you may begin to wonder if (s)he is trying to hide marital assets from you so as to better his or her financial position when it comes time to construct the property settlement agreement.

Unfortunately, as FindLaw explains, vindictive and/or greedy spouses have attempted to hide assets for decades when it came time to divorce. Today’s technology, however, puts a new twist on this old ploy. Thanks to the internet and people’s access to it via computer, laptop, tablet, cellphone, etc., asset-hiding spouses can carry out their endeavors far more easily and effectively than they could in the past. In fact, you and your divorce attorney may need to hire a forensic accountant in order to find these assets.

What is a "guardian of the property?"

Ask people in Rockville to define "adult guardianship," and you are likely to get a general consensus that the topic applies only to those cases where a disabled adult needs constant supervision over every facet of their life. In reality, however, there are different forms of guardianship. The state of Maryland does not take the decision to hand someone's decision-making powers over to another lightly. Instead, if such action is warranted, it prefers to make its extent as limited as possible. Because of this, the most common form of adult guardianship assigned by state courts is "guardian of the property." 

If you have a loved who, because of disability, mental health struggles, incapacitation or alcohol and/or substance abuse issues, cannot adequately manage his or her life, that does not necessarily mean they need a guardian to direct everything that they do. Rather, they may simply need assistance in protecting whatever resources they have available to them. In such a case, the court may appoint one to as guardian of the property. According to the Maryland Attorney General's office, this enables the guardian to perform finance-related functions such as: 

  • Buying and selling property
  • Retaining assets
  • Borrowing money
  • Paying bills
  • Negotiating with creditors
Email Us for A Response

Questions?

Get The Answers You Need.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

200 A Monroe Street
Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20850

Phone: 301-738-7770
Fax: 301-738-7771
Map & Directions