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  • Divorce Is A Better Alternative For Many People

    Since Henry the Eighth first obtained a divorce from the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533, divorce has had a long and tortuous history. Henry the Eighth was motivated by a desire to marry Anne Boleyn so that he could have a male heir; however, after multiple miscarriages, he accused her of adultery and had her beheaded. Fortunately, England adopted the Matrimonial Causes Act in 1857, allowing ...
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  • What Does the Court Consider When Determining Child Custody?

    Are you going through a divorce and want to spend as much time as possible with your children after it is all said and done? You will need to push for primary child custody rights . You will also need to consider the wishes of your ex-spouse, who may also believe they should be the one to see your children most often. When there is a disagreement between divorcing spouses and the court needs to ...
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  • "Mutual Consent" - New grounds for Maryland Divorce

    October 1, 2015 introduced new grounds for divorce in Maryland. Divorce by "mutual consent" is now available to certain couples in Maryland. Why is this development of significance? "Mutual consent" divorce eliminates the required 12-month separation period, so long as the parties meet the required criteria under the new grounds for divorce. To qualify for divorce by "mutual consent" there are ...
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  • Father's Rights

    By David C. Gardner There are many references to "father's rights" in divorce law. As a divorce lawyer, we usually represent both mothers and fathers, and it is rare that an attorney only represents one sex in contested divorces or custody disputes. However, there are specific rights that father's usually want to protect when they go to court, and an attorney who represents fathers on a regular ...
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  • Same-Sex Marriage Legalization Extends to All 50 States

    Maryland is a noteworthy state when it comes to same-sex marriage. In 1973, it was the first state to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, thus prohibiting same-sex marriage. From that year forward, proponents of marriage equality made an active push to give same-sex couples the right to marry. Such an affirmative decision would not be made until 2013, 40 years later, when ...
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  • Dividing marital property at the time of divorce

    Each state has developed it's own statutory laws which govern the division of property at the time of divorce. In Maryland, the legislature has adopted a three step process which requires the court to engage in the following three steps: 1) Determine what property is marital property under Family Law Section 8-203. Generally, this is all property accumulated during the mariage and excludes any ...
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  • Apportioning tax deductions for minor children in a divorce

    Under IRS regulations, the parent “with whom the child resided for the longest period of time during the taxable year” has the right to claim the tax exemption for a minor child. IRC Section 152 (c)(4)(B)(I). However, the IRS also allows the custodial parent to execute a signed waiver disclaiming the child as an exemption in any given year. This allows the parties to a divorce to allocate the ...
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  • Shared Physical Custody and Shared Child Support Guidelines in Maryland

    The notion of shared physical custody is not well defined in Maryland case law. Parents typically think of shared physical custody as 50/50 or even time with their children. However, that is rarely the case. Even when parents agree to share physical custody, it is based on a schedule that approaches, but does not need to reach 50/50. One Maryland case that discussed such a schedule stated: "Shared ...
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  • Visitation Schedules in Maryland

    There is no standard visitation schedule in the Maryland courts. The standard schedule used to be every other weekend from Friday evening until Sunday evening, alternating holidays, and two weeks for a vacation each summer. This is the schedule that is commonly referred to as a "weekend dad" schedule, and for years that is exactly what it created, a weekend dad. More common today is a schedule ...
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  • Supervised Visitation in Maryland

    The issue of supervised visitation has become a hot topic in the courts. When a child's safety is at risk during visitation, the court will usually allow visitation only if it is supervised by a third party, who can be someone agreed to by the parties, a paid professional supervisor, or a service provided by the court. Recently, Montgomery County opened a supervised visitation center that can ...
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  • Deviation from Child Support Guidelines

    Under Maryland law the amount of child support to be paid in an action to establish child support is based on the child support guidelines contained in Section 12-202 of the Family Law Article of the Maryland Code. These guidelines are based on what has become known as the "incomes shared" method of calculating child support, in which the parents pay a percentage of the support for their child ...
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  • Decision Making Authority of a Parent Coordinator

    A parent coordinator is a person appointed by the Court in a high conflict divorce to reduce the effects of conflict on the parties’ child. Parent Coordinators have been used in Separation Agreements and have been appointed by the Court for approximately twenty years, without rules regulating their conduct and appointment. Rule 9-205.2 of the Maryland Rules, entitled "Parenting Coordination", was ...
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  • New Bill Proposed - Living Together But Entitled to a Divorce

    Another bill (SB 334) was just proposed in Annapolis that will open new doors for families and attorneys. Last year, the law was changed to allow married persons to divorce so long as they lived separate and apart for one year. But what constitutes "separate and apart." For years, ever since the Ricketts case, attorneys have pondered and argued whether living separate and apart under the same roof ...
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  • Maryland General Assembly Back in Session - The Debate Over Same Sex Marriage Continues...

    Last week our legislature returned to Annapolis to begin this year’s session. What will they be considering over its 90 day session? No one knows for certain. On average, in any given session, our senators and delegates will be acting on over 2000 bills. Last year 2,353 were introduced, and of those 707 passed. Included in those that passed was at least one big change for family-law ...

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