Calculating Child Support
Since child support guidelines vary from state to state, Maryland parents are advised to consult family court attorneys regarding child support issues in Owings Mills. Divorce law requires family courts to develop child support orders in light of certain factors, such as the actual monthly income and adjusted income of each parent. The court will also consider child care expenses, health insurance costs, and extraordinary medical expenses of the child.
Hear more about divorce law as it applies to child support by watching this video or consulting your family attorney. This video explains that the court may consider the disparity in standards of living between households and the total number of children that the parents are responsible for supporting.
What to Know About Alimony Payments
Alimony laws are intended to help spouses maintain a comparable standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. Typically, the intention of alimony is to allow the lesser earning spouse the opportunity to become self-sufficient after the marriage. If a divorce judge awards alimony to one spouse, these payments are completely separate from a child support order. If you intend on seeking alimony from your spouse or your spouse is seeking payments from you, contact an alimony lawyer located in Baltimore County for guidance.
What happens if spouses make an out-of-court agreement?
It’s highly advisable to avoid signing any type of agreement with your spouse before discussing the matter with a divorce lawyer. If you do make an out-of-court agreement with your spouse, the court is generally bound to honor that agreement.
Can I seek alimony after I’m already divorced?
After your divorce is finalized, neither ex-spouse can initiate a new request for alimony. If alimony has already been ordered, it may be possible to petition for a modification of alimony payments. Consider talking to your divorce lawyer if you experience a significant change in financial circumstances that might prompt an alimony modification.
What will the court consider when ordering alimony?
There are a range of factors the court will evaluate when deciding whether or not to award alimony to a spouse. Primarily, the judge will consider the ability of each party to be self-supporting, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, and any agreement that was already made between the spouses. The court can consider each party’s financial needs and resources, the time necessary for a spouse to receive education or vocational training, the parties’ respective ages, their health, and the mental and physical capabilities of each spouse.
Are there any tax consequences for alimony payments?
Unlike child support-which is neither taxable nor tax deductible-alimony does have tax consequences. Generally, the payor can deduct alimony payments on his or her tax return and the alimony recipient must report it as income.
Does the court enforce alimony payments?
If the court has issued an alimony order or decree, then the court can also enforce that order. If an ex-spouse does not remit alimony payments, the court may decide to hold that person in contempt of court.
Why DIY Divorces Are Disasters
Making the decision to end a marriage is never easy, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always contentious. In fact, many couples successfully reach an uncontested divorce settlement. If you and your spouse have realized that it’s time to part ways, you may be tempted to download the legal forms yourself and do a DIY divorce. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster. Family law can be incredibly complex and only divorce lawyers serving Carroll and Baltimore Counties can prevent you from making mistakes that may cost you in the long run.
A family lawyer can advise you of the many nuances of family law that may not have even occurred to you, such as the potential tax penalties for dividing retirement assets and the possible legal consequences for moving your children to another state. Furthermore, your family law attorney will have a keen understanding of the local family court system, along with its many rules and procedures. Failing to abide by these rules and procedures because you avoided hiring a family law attorney may cause you to automatically waive your legal rights. It’s always advisable to protect yourself, your kids, and your assets by hiring a seasoned family law attorney.
Preparing Your Children for a Custody Dispute
For the sake of the kids, it’s always preferable to resolve child custody issues amicably. You may find that many issues are resolvable through compromise when both parents prioritize the best interests of the children. Unfortunately, achieving mutual agreements isn’t always possible. If divorce mediation fails to resolve the dispute, a judge, like those found in Baltimore Countymust resolve the child custody case. Your divorce lawyer is likely to advise you to avoid involving your child in the dispute as much as possible.
Discussing the Divorce
Avoid discussing the divorce with your kids until you are certain that it will go forward. If possible, it may be a good idea for both parents to sit down with the kids to explain that they are going to live apart from now on. Use age-appropriate language to tell the kids that although both parents still love the kids very much, they’re not going to be married any longer. Depending on the children’s ages, they may ask which parent they will live with. Since the child custody case hasn’t been resolved yet, you can simply tell them that they will still be spending plenty of time with each of you and that neither parent will “disappear” from their lives.
Explaining the Custody Evaluation
In contested child custody cases, the judge may order that a child custody evaluation be completed. A court evaluator is a neutral third-party who will interview both of the parents, the children, and perhaps other parties such as teachers, counselors, and other family members. The court evaluator may visit each parent’s home. Parents are advised never to prepare kids to answer questions in a certain way. Rather, the kids may be told that the evaluator is trying to help the parents work through their issues and that the kids should answer any questions honestly.
Encouraging Open and Ongoing Communication
During a child custody dispute, kids may feel confused, anxious, and isolated. They may worry that the divorce is somehow their fault. It’s crucial to encourage your kids to discuss their worries and concerns. Listen to them without judgment. Reassure them that although you may not have all the answers right now, you will always love them and the situation will get better.
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