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Is a Gift to a Spouse Considered Marital Property in a Divorce?

Normally, any property acquired by a spouse during the course of a marriage is considered marital property. That is to say, such property is subject to equitable division between the spouses in the event of a divorce. But there are exceptions to this general rule. For example, any property acquired by either spouse through “inheritance […]

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Recent Posts
  • Is a Gift to a Spouse Considered Marital Property in a Divorce?

    Normally, any property acquired by a spouse during the course of a marriage is considered marital property. That is to say, such property is subject to equitable division between the spouses in the event of a divorce. But there are exceptions to this general rule. For example, any property acquired by either spouse through “inheritance […]

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  • Does a Judge Have to Consult With a Child Regarding Custody or Visitation Preferences?

    In making decisions regarding custody issues, a Maryland court is required to consider the “best interests” of a child. This requires consideration of a number of factors. This can include the child’s own preferences on the matter. It is important to understand that Maryland law vests the authority with the judge, not the child, to […]

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  • Handling the Sale of a Marital Property Following a Divorce

    Property division in a divorce is not always as simple as splitting a bank account in two. Oftentimes a couple will jointly own real property for personal or business use. It may not be practical to immediately sell such property, especially if it will remain in active use following the divorce. As a result, it […]

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  • How Does Collaborative Divorce Differ From Mediation?

    Not all divorce cases require contested litigation. There are many situations in which a couple agrees that a marriage needs to end and they wish to resolve their outstanding financial and other issues with a minimum of controversy. For this reason, there are a number of methods of alternative dispute resolution available in divorce cases. […]

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  • Does a Judge Have to Award “Make-Up Time” When a Parent is Denied Visitation Rights?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone. It has been especially stressful for separated and divorced parents who are struggling to make custody and visitation arrangements work. Understandably, there have been some disagreements–and litigation–on this subject. But as with any matter involving minors, it is critical to remember that a court will always look […]

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  • Can a Maryland Judge Require Me to Financially Support My Adult Child?

    A parent’s obligation to financially support their child usually ends when that child reaches adulthood. But Maryland law does make an exception for a “destitute adult child,” which is defined as an adult child who has no means of subsistence; and cannot be self-supporting, due to mental or physical infirmity. When a court determines that […]

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  • What is a De Facto Parent Under Maryland Family Law?

    Many people raise children who are not their biological or legally adopted child. There are many situations where a child’s parents may be unable or unwilling to provide appropriate care and allow others to fulfill the role of parent. Maryland law recognizes such “de facto parents,” and allows them to seek custody or visitation rights […]

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  • Can a Religious Marriage Contract be Enforced in a Maryland Divorce?

    Marriage has long been both a religious and a civil institution. The interaction between the two has always posed certain unique challenges for courts, especially when it comes to religious practices that might affect divorce or child custody. For example, in Islam, marriage is viewed as a contractual undertaking involving an offer, acceptance, and a […]

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  • Can I Demand My Ex Pay for Our Child’s Private School Tuition?

    In a divorce or child custody case, Maryland law authorizes a judge to order each parent to contribute a proportionate share of their respective income to “any expenses for attending a special or private elementary or secondary school to meet the particular educational needs of the child.” The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has said […]

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  • When is Joint Custody of a Child Appropriate in Maryland?

    A Maryland court may award separated parents joint custody of their minor children. “Joint custody” actually has a few different meanings. There is shared physical custody–i.e., the children split their time among both parents’ residences–and joint legal custody. With the latter, the child may live with one parent, but both parents have an equal voice […]

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  • Can I Seek a Divorce Based on “Cruel Treatment” Even if There Was No Physical Abuse?

    Although Maryland allows “no-fault” divorces based on mutual consent or living separately for at least 12 months, the law continues to recognize numerous fault-based grounds for obtaining a divorce, as well. One such ground is “cruelty of treatment.” Historically, cruelty of treatment referred to one spouse committing acts of physical violence against the other. In […]

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  • When Can You Seek Annulment of a Marriage in Maryland?

    Divorce is the most common way to legally dissolve a marriage, but it is not always the only way. In some cases, a person may seek an annulment of their marriage. Annulment is essentially a judicial declaration that the marriage itself is prohibited or invalid as a matter of law. In this sense, annulment does […]

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  • What are the Factors in Making a Monetary Award in a Maryland Divorce Case?

    Property division in a Maryland divorce case follows the rule of “equitable distribution.” Equitable does not always mean equal. Instead, the court must follow a three-step process. First, the judge will determine what assets are actually marital property. Second, the court must determine the value of all marital property. Third, the court will issue a […]

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  • How Do Maryland Courts Address Child Custody When There Has Been Domestic Abuse Between the Parents?

    When it comes to child custody disputes, a Maryland court is required to consider what arrangements will be in the “best interests of the child.” But Maryland law also requires a court to protect a parent who has been abused by the other parent when making arrangements regarding child custody or visitation. Are these obligations […]

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  • Why You Should Never Pressure or Coerce Your Future Spouse Into Signing a Prenuptial Agreement

    In a recent post we discussed how Maryland law governs prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. As we noted, these agreements are treated just like any other contract between two parties. Ideally, this means that each party is represented by their own counsel and each side has an opportunity to carefully read and understand any proposed agreement […]

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  • The Difference Between Imputing Income for Child Support vs. Alimony

    When it comes to child support, a parent cannot avoid their legal obligation because they are “voluntarily impoverished.” This refers to a scenario in which the parent obliged to make support payments “has made the free and conscious choice, not compelled by factors beyond the parent’s control, to render the parent without adequate resources.” If […]

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  • What You Need to Know About Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Maryland

    Prenuptial agreements often carry a stigma. After all, who wants to plan for a failed marriage? But prenups are actually quite beneficial for couples who simply want to make their financial affairs more predictable–and less litigious–in the event of divorce or even a spouse’s death. One thing to note here is that although people commonly […]

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  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals Sets Rules for Disposing of Frozen Pre-Embryos in Divorce Cases

    The division of property is often a highly contentious issue in a divorce case. But what happens when the “property” in question are fertilized pre-embryos conceived and frozen for later implantation by a divorcing couple who previously planned to have a child? Many state courts have been forced to confront this issue in recent years, […]

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  • Medical Marijuana in Maryland – Providers, Patients and Caregivers

    Medical marijuana in Maryland is prescribed by registered providers to certified patients and registered caregivers. Maryland law defines each of these categories of people. Certifying Providers must be registered with the MMCC. They must have active and unrestricted licensees to practice as physicians, podiatrists, dentists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners or midwives, and be in good […]

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  • Can Your Ex-Spouse Still Inherit Under Your Will After a Divorce?

    Here is a hypothetical scenario: Joan got a divorce from her ex-husband David several years ago. One day, while Joan is going through her personal files, she discovers a will she signed while she was still married. The will named David as her sole heir and executor of her estate. This has Joan concerned: If […]

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  • The Potential Consequences of Ignoring a Child Custody Order

    Child custody is often a contentious issue between two parents who are not together. Maryland law provides a means of establishing custody and visitation rights for both parents. Understandably, some parents are unhappy with the results produced by this system. But it should go without saying that you cannot take the law into your own […]

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  • What are the Legal Ramifications When One Parent Tries to Turn the Children Against the Other Parent?

    Even when a Maryland court decides issues regarding child custody and visitation rights, that does not necessarily mean an end to the conflict or animosity between the parents. To the contrary, parents often continue to fight outside of court–and in the presence of their children–over all sorts of issues, some of them trivial. Such disagreements […]

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  • How Does Absolute Divorce Differ from Limited Divorce in Maryland?

    When most people hear the word “divorce,” they assume it means the legal process of permanently ending a marriage. But Maryland law actually recognizes two forms of divorce. The first is an absolute divorce. The second is a limited divorce. Limited Divorce A limited divorce is not really a divorce in the conventional sense. It […]

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  • When Can a Maryland Judge Modify the Terms of a Child Support Order?

    When determining a parent’s child support obligation, Maryland courts are required to determine what is in the “best interests of the child.” This standard applies not just to any initial calculation of support but also any subsequent modifications. It is critical for judges to follow the law, as a parent’s failure to understand their support […]

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  • How Do You Divide a Family-Owned Business in a Maryland Divorce?

    Maryland law calls for an “equitable division” of marital property in divorce cases. This means any property that jointly belongs to both spouses must be divided fairly–but not necessarily equally. This can prove tricky with some types of assets. For example, if the divorcing couple owns an interest in a business, the parties may disagree […]

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  • Will I Go to Jail if I Fail to Pay Child Support?

    Child support is a legal obligation imposed on noncustodial parents by court order. This means that failure to obey a lawful child support order can land you in serious trouble. Among other remedies, the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (MCSEA) can ask a judge to hold a non-paying parent in criminal contempt. If the parent […]

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  • My Spouse Just Asked for a Divorce – What Do I Do Now?

    Take a deep breath and try to stay calm. Remember to treat your spouse with respect and keep your relationship amicable, as it will help make the next steps easier. Give yourself time to process your feelings and get professional help if you need it. Then, start doing some research. There are plenty of resources […]

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  • How Do I Choose a Divorce Attorney?

    Every divorce is different and so is every divorce attorney. That’s why choosing the right lawyer is so important. You need someone you can trust to prioritize your personal and financial goals and someone with experience in family law. No one expects to get divorced, and many people don’t know how to choose a good […]

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  • How is Property Divided in Maryland Divorce Cases?

    To finalize a divorce, the separating couple must decide how to divide their property. The way that property is divided varies between states and on a case by case basis. A couple may need to follow the laws of their state, but the way that their property is divided could depend on the unique circumstances […]

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  • Maryland Marriage Licenses and Certificates: What to do Before and After the Big Day

    With springtime just a month away, many recently engaged couples are excitedly anticipating the arrival of long-planned wedding days. According to theknot.com, almost 80% of weddings take place between May and October. At all of these events, beyond the music, flowers, cake, dresses, suits and all the other details that will make the day memorable and […]

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  • Dividing Retirement Benefits in the Case of a Maryland Divorce

    In a divorce case, the division of property that the spouses acquired during the marriage can be a complicated and contentious matter. When the parties are not able to work out by themselves how to divide their marital property, the decision will be made by the courts. In Maryland, marital property is divided according to […]

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  • What to Do When You are Served with Maryland Divorce Papers

    In some situations, a spouse may be anticipating the receipt of divorce papers, but in others, being served with a petition for divorce catches someone completely off guard. It does not matter whether you were prepared or not. If you have been served with divorce papers, you need to take action right away to protect […]

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  • De Facto Parenting and Attorney’s Fees in Maryland

    Maryland law allows a court, in its discretion, to award costs and attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in an action involving child custody, support, or visitation. Last summer, Maryland’s second highest court ruled that “de facto” parents are among those who can recover attorney’s fees and costs in connection with custody and visitation disputes. […]

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  • Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

    What are Parental Rights? The broad concept of parental rights generally refers to all of the rights that go hand in hand with raising children. The United States Supreme Court has recognized parental rights as a fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment, and has described these rights as the rights to make decisions about a child’s […]

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  • Why do People Hire an Attorney for Their Charles County Divorce?

    Like other legal matters, divorce in Maryland can be a complicated and challenging process. There are a lot of emotions at play, and couples tend to let those emotions get the best of them in this situation. You may be thinking your divorce is straightforward, so why you would need a divorce attorney, anyway? There […]

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  • Tips for Dealing with Divorcing an Addict in Maryland

    If you are married to an addict, you are already familiar with how difficult life can be and how you can be directly and indirectly impacted. In many cases, these situations end up in divorce. Some people assume that getting a divorce from an addict will be a simple and straightforward process, but it can […]

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  • How is Intellectual Property Handled in Your Maryland Divorce?

    When you are going through a divorce in Maryland, all marital assets are subject to division. This includes anything that falls under intellectual property. While dividing cash and other assets may be relatively straightforward, other assets like intellectual property can be extremely complicated. This is why you need a skilled Waldorf divorce attorney on your […]

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  • Getting a Divorce With Special Needs Children in Maryland

    Divorce is complicated enough, but getting a divorce when you have a child with special needs can be more frustrating and scary. Even the most amicable divorces still impact the children, and those children with special needs are typically more affected. If you are preparing for a divorce in Maryland and you have special needs […]

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  • Dividing Artwork in a Charles County Divorce

    Couples who collect artwork and are going through a divorce may struggle with determining who keeps what and how much all the artwork is worth. The process for dividing up normal personal items is usually simple, as they are typically associated with only one spouse. However, artwork collections can include paintings, sculptures, and more precious […]

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  • How a Maryland Divorce Affects Your Insurance

    When you are going through a Maryland divorce, you are likely primarily thinking about the process of property division and who will get what. If you have children, there are obviously concerns regarding custody arrangements as well. One thing people do not often consider in their divorce is what happens after everything is finalized, especially […]

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  • How One Parent’s Incarceration Affects Child Custody in Maryland

    The incarceration of one party can have an impact on child custody matters in some cases. To understand exactly how it affects your particular situation, you need to speak with a skilled Maryland child custody lawyer who can help. Incarceration Before Child Custody is Determined In the event your ex was thrown in jail during […]

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  • Is Mediation a Good Option During Divorce?

    When two people are getting divorced, they often envision themselves standing in front of a judge and arguing over the different terms of that divorce. It does not have to be this way, though. In Maryland, most divorce cases are settled before they are ever taken to a courtroom. This sometimes happens during mediation, an […]

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  • Tips for Effective Co-Parenting After a Maryland Divorce

    Learning how to effectively co-parent after a tumultuous Maryland divorce is an important step all former spouses need to take. Some people mistakenly think it is a simple transition because you have been parenting together for years. However, it is completely different. Suddenly, one home with two parents becomes two homes with one parent each. […]

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  • Helping Your Children Transition Through Your Divorce

    If you and your spouse are facing an imminent separation or divorce, you are not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 800,000 adults divorced in 2016. Almost 50% of American marriages will eventually end in divorce. Therefore, divorce is a concept that many people, unfortunately, experience at some point. As hard […]

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  • How to Determine Pet Custody in a Maryland Divorce

    For most people, the family pet is more like an actual member of the family rather than just a “pet.” You become attached to them, nurture them, watch them grow, and sometimes find yourself spending thousands of dollars on necessary medical treatment — just as you would with a child. So, it is completely understandable […]

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  • Post-Divorce Modifications in Maryland

    When you finalize a divorce, the judge will issue his or her final decree and terms of any arrangements involving child custody, alimony, property division, etc. These decisions are based on the two parties’ individual circumstances at the time of the divorce. However, things can change down the line that may warrant the court taking […]

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  • Uncontested Divorces in Maryland

    Just thinking about divorce is enough to stress some people out — horrible arguments, emotional outbursts, time off work, financial struggles, and having to face your ex are just a few of the things some people envision. However, this is really just the worst-case scenario rather than the common reality. Television and movies portray all […]

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  • What You Need to Know About Choosing a Maryland Child Custody Attorney

    If you are preparing to go through a custody battle with your ex, you need to consider retaining a Maryland child custody attorney. Child custody battles are stressful and emotional. You need someone on your side who can help you through this challenging time and ensure your child’s best interests are protected. When you are […]

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  • Prenuptial Agreements in Maryland

    If you are contemplating a prenuptial agreement, or you have been presented with one to sign, it is important to speak with a Maryland family law attorney who can help you. You need someone who can help draft and/or review a prenup agreement, as well as someone with experience defending or challenging them in court. […]

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  • Can You Have a Child Support Order Modified in Maryland?

    Many people want to know if a child support order is final or whether it can be modified in the future. The answer is that in limited scenarios, there may be the option to have a child support order modified. Not every situation will qualify, and even those cases for modification that are heard in […]

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  • What is a Gray Divorce in Maryland?

    The term grey divorce is used to reference a demographic trend that has shown an increase in separation or divorce amongst older couples who have been married for a significant amount of time. There is an assumption that anyone who has been married for 40 years or more is obviously older and therefore “starting to […]

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  • Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Your Maryland Divorce Settlement Agreement

    Negotiating a settlement agreement in your divorce is, for most people, one of the hardest parts of the entire process. It is a scary time, and emotions tend to run high as you are trying to divide everything from your family vehicle to the family home. It is important to have someone on your side […]

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  • Does Maryland Recognize Legal Separation?

    Some states will allow you to file for legal separation, but Maryland does not recognize that status, per se. What you can do is file for limited divorce. This allows couples to resolve some important issues, but it does not entirely terminate their marriage. People often choose a limited divorce when there are important issues […]

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  • Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney in Maryland

    If you are preparing to file for divorce, you may be considering whether or not you need to hire an attorney. Retaining a Maryland divorce attorney can not only make the process easier, it can also expedite it. If you are on the fence about whether or not to hire an attorney for your divorce, […]

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  • What is the Process to Get Divorced in Maryland?

    If you are considering filing for divorce in Maryland, it is important to understand the legal requirements before you file the petition. In addition, we recommend you speak with a Maryland family law attorney who can advise you of the requirements and your legal rights. In order to file for a divorce in Maryland, one […]

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