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Final Divorce Without the 12-Month Separation? It’s Possible Now

Final Divorce Without the 12-Month Separation? It’s Possible NowBig changes have come to the mutual consent divorce laws in Maryland. A new law, which takes effect October 1, 2018, will allow parents of minor children to file for a mutual consent divorce without the previously mandated one-year separation. Mutual consent divorce is not a brand-new concept in Maryland. In 2015, it became possible for couples without children to obtain an absolute (final) divorce without being separated for a year, as long as they had a written final separation agreement. The new rule makes it possible for couples with minor children to do the same. The new rules will make it much simpler for couples to obtain a “no-fault” divorce, removing the lengthy and costly year-long separation process that previously forced both parties to maintain completely separate residences and finances, while remaining in the State of Maryland. Couples now have much more flexibility to come to a mutual agreement…

How serious illness can influence divorce rates

Maryland residents will likely be aware that a serious illness can place a great deal of strain on a marriage. However, they may be surprised to learn that the chances of a divorce only appear to increase if it is the wife who becomes sick. Researchers noticed this after looking at how cancer, lung disease, heart ailments and strokes affected 2,701 marriages, but they were unable to determine if it was the husband or wife who decided to seek a divorce. The findings of the study looking into the relationship between serious illnesses and divorce were released in March 2015 and published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. While the rate of divorce increased by 6 percent when wives became sick, there was no corresponding higher divorce rate among couples when the husband developed a serious illness. Researchers at Purdue and Iowa State University speculate that ailing wives…

Maryland business owners should protect assets during divorce

The end of a marriage is a challenging time for most Maryland couples. A lot of issues typically need to be addressed, from child support to property division. If one spouse owns a business and fails to plan ahead, those assets may also end up being split, jeopardizing the future of the company and the spouse's income. Taking preventive measures to protect the business may go a long way to minimize the potential impact of divorce. Before the wedding, a business owner can take steps to divorce-proof his or her company. This can be done through a prenuptial agreement that lists the business as individual property, exempt from the division of marital assets upon divorce. If it is too late for a prenup, a postnuptial agreement can accomplish the same goal. If there is no pre- or postnuptial agreement, there are still steps that a business owner can take after…

Avoid mistakes when claiming alimony post- divorce

Few things are less appealing than going through a divorce. Filing one's taxes, however, can come in a close second. For Maryland couples who are still in the midst of divorce or who have recently finalized the end of their marriage, tax matters can become complicated. Avoiding mistakes is key for those who wish to prevent an audit. The manner in which alimony is claimed on one's tax return is one of the leading causes of red flags at the Internal Revenue Service. The spouse who pays alimony can claim the expense as a deduction on his or her tax return. The receiving spouse is not taxed on alimony, but must state the amount of payments received on their tax return. When these numbers differ on the two returns, the IRS will often take a closer look at the discrepancy. The reason that divorced spouses often claim different amounts of…

Will improved Maryland economy affect the divorce rate?

As the economy improves, marriage declines, according to a recent study done by a sociologist at the University of Maryland. The study looked at what, if any, effect the economic climate has on marriage in America. It found that a rosier economic future may lead to a higher rate of divorce. About seven years ago, divorce rates dropped as the economy did the same. In the years between 2008 and 2011 alone, the divorce rate dropped by 4 percent. Some people took this to mean that married couples had pulled together and become closer when met with economic difficulty. They called it the silver lining in an otherwise negative situation. Researchers now think that assumption may have been a false view of what was happening. They say, in reality, many people just could not afford the cost of ending their marriages. The numbers represented economics more than it did renewed…

Divorce in Maryland and elsewhere can prompt PTSD symptoms

Ending a marriage is a stressful, difficult time, whether a person is going through it in Maryland or any other state. People who've endured a particularly contentious divorce say it changes a person in many ways. One recently divorced woman says she now has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition some experts say is more common after divorce than they originally believed it to be. The woman says she feels as if her divorce and the events surrounding it put her in a war zone. She claims her ex-husband allegedly did everything he could to draw out the legal process. She says he subjected her and their children to emotional abuse and made it difficult to function on a daily basis. She is currently undergoing treatment for PTSD and hopes to be fully recovered in the near future. Studies show that a person who undergoes an event that is traumatic…

Minimize divorce fees by providing full financial disclosure

You deserve a divorce that's not going to degenerate into a virtual crap shoot. In Maryland and elsewhere, the first thing to do after making a decision to go forward with a divorce is to go out and retain legal counsel. Many attorneys don't charge for an initial consultation, so that you can obtain considerable up-front information without obligation. For starters, there's nothing more important or self-assuring than starting out with a full arsenal of knowledge about what lies ahead. Legal fees in a divorce usually are on an hourly rate. It's common to see an initial retainer that the lawyer bills against, and when that's depleted you'll replenish it. In either event, you'll be given a written agreement setting forth a fee schedule that you must sign and approve. Remember that you can save money on legal fees and have a more cost-effective divorce by providing counsel early on…

Reality TV star’s 72-day marriage appears to be over

Maryland residents have likely followed along as reality TV star Kim Kardashian pursued a divorce from her estranged husband Kris Humphries. The pair was only married for 72 days. However, their divorce saga has gone since October 2011. Today, a judge approved a divorce settlement. The couple will officially part ways once they have signed the proper documents. The marriage between Kardashian and Humphries was quite short. Some couples decide to divorce after decades of marriage. In any case, people may find that continuing on with the marriage is not an option. As this recent case showed, divorce is rarely a simple process. There are many different issues that must be settled before a couple can officially go their separate ways. The division of marital property, child custody disputes and child support issues can be complicated matters to resolve. In addition to working through legal issues, people in Maryland and…

Heavy drinking could lead to breakdown in marriage

Many people in Maryland and beyond enjoy having a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage with their spouse after a long day at work. However, one spouse's reliance on alcohol may cause problems in the marriage. Earlier this year, research from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health showed that divorce is more common among couples in which one spouse drinks significantly more. This appears to be particularly true when the wife drinks too much. This is a trend that seems to be occurring in other parts of the world beyond the United States. A British family law attorney says that she handles many cases every year in which drinking was the main cause of the divorce. The attorney says that many times it is the women who have the problem. The breakdown of a marriage can be caused by a number of factors. Unfortunately, there is not a secret…