Maryland Family Law: The Factors Maryland Courts Consider When Determining Child Support Amounts

Since 1990, Maryland courts have been required to use Child Support Guidelines in all cases involving children. These guidelines suggest a certain amount that should be paid to meet the cost of raising the children of the divorced parents. Let’s explore these factors:   Both parents' actual monthly income   To determine how much child support should be paid, the court must first evaluate each parent's Read More

Want to Keep Your Divorce Out of Court? Consider Mediation!

Getting a divorce is never easy, but whenever possible, it is best to do everything possible to get through it with as few fights as you can. For many people, keeping the divorce process out of the courts is an ideal solution. This is made possible by using the mediation process rather than litigating in front of a judge. While mediation won’t work in every case, it is always best to give it a try if you want to Read More

A Brief Overview of Maryland Property Division

When going through a divorce, one of the hardest things to do is come to an agreement on who gets what in terms of the marital assets. Even in otherwise civil cases, couples often can’t come to a mutual agreement about how their assets will be distributed and it ends up having to go to court to have a judge decide. While this should be avoided when possible, it is good to know what standards the judge will use should Read More

Do You Advocate for Father’s Rights?

The other day I got a call in the office and the caller asked me just that question: "Do you advocate for father's rights?" My response was "I advocate for parent's rights". CLICK! I can't say I was surprised that the caller hung up on me. When you ask a question like that it signals that you believe there is an unjust tilting of the judicial process in favor of women. That perception, spoken with absolute Read More

Don’t Win the Lottery Just Yet

A couple of weeks ago there was a story about a woman in California who came forward as the winner of the SuperLotto Plus Jackpot prize of $23 million just days before the winning ticket was about to expire. Apparently she never checked the ticket and had simply left it in her car. Luckily for her, her daughter recognized her mother's picture from a surveillance camera and alerted her to her winnings. Why hadn't she Read More

What’s Mine is Mine;What’s Ours is Mine, Too!

One of the most difficult issues to understand in a divorce action is the concept of marital property. Lawyers spend entire seminars, read full treatises, and examine statutes for hours on end to try and understand the nuances of this concept. So it is not surprising that most non-lawyers struggle with the same problem. Most people seem to think that each gets half of all the "stuff". It's not that Read More

Control Your Outcome – What the NFL Referee Lockout Teaches Family Law Clients

The settlement of the NFL referee lockout generated a sigh of relief throughout the country yesterday as the league and the referee's union announced an agreement that put an end to the lockout. The workplace dispute resulted in three weeks of disarray, erroneous results, and a real economic impact the the league and it's followers. The sad part is that the deal that was agreed to was available before the start of Read More

I Can’t Afford a Divorce!

A fascinating article in the Washington Post confirmed what family law practitioners in Montgomery County have known for some time now - that many people simply can not afford to get a divorce as a result of the current economic recession. For many couples, the downturn in the economy and in particular the fall in housing prices makes it almost impossible to afford to end an unhappy marriage. For most people, their Read More

Leaving It To the Court to Decide

This story has been told by judges and family division masters in Montgomery County many times but it bears repeating. A couple stands before the judge in a highly disputed child custody case. The judge turns to the mother and says, "Ma’am, do you love your child?" To which she replies, "Of course I do!" He then turns to the father and asks the same question. “But of course I love my child.” The judge turns to them Read More

Can I Change My Name Back in My Divorce?

Frequently clients ask if they can change their name back to their maiden name or even that of a previous marriage when they get divorced. The short answer is most likely yes. Under the Family Law article of the Maryland Code §7-105, if you are seeking a divorce you may change your name back to either your name given at birth or any previous former name as long as 1) the party took the name on in marriage and no Read More