• A Quick Look at Monitored Exchanges

    Depending on the type of child custody agreement you have, your divorce lawyer may recommend a monitored exchange when you and your ex-spouse bring your children back and forth to each other for visitation. If you have entered into a custody agreement that includes a stipulation for monitored exchanges or if you want to add a monitored exchange to your existing child custody case in Owings Mills, your divorce lawyer can help you understand what to expect.

    Monitored exchanges reduce the risk of conflict between parents when they have to face each other while sharing custody of their children by ensuring another party is present to witness the exchange. They can happen under the guidance of a family member or friend that both parties trust or at a court-appointed facility. Frequently, monitored exchanges are recommended to ensure that children and parents get to maintain their relationships, even when the relationship between the parents has become acrimonious. They allow the parents to focus on their time with their children instead of the stress of confronting an ex at the start and end of each visitation period.

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  • What to Expect When You Meet With a Divorce Lawyer

    Meeting with a divorce lawyer for the first time can be emotional and overwhelming. Fortunately, you will almost certainly walk away from the meeting feeling better than when you walked in, with many questions about the future finally answered and with a plan for moving forward. As you go into your first meeting with your divorce lawyer in Owings Mills , here is a look at what to expect, so you can be prepared and ready to focus on the issues at hand. divorce - lawyer

    General Case Review

    Before your divorce lawyer can give you the right advice, he or she must understand as much as possible about your situation. First, he or she will need to know if your spouse has already filed for divorce or if you plan to file yourself. Next, you’ll need to review the circumstances that have led to your divorce. The reasons you want a divorce can have an impact on the approach your attorney takes to your case. For instance, if your divorce was precipitated by your spouse’s affair, that circumstance can influence the type of divorce you decide to pursue and decisions about alimony and child custody. Although your divorce attorney is not a counselor, he or she is accustomed to dealing with people in distress, so don’t be concerned if you become emotional, and don’t feel embarrassed to be honest about your marriage and your reasons for divorce.

    Document Review

    It’s important to prepare a number of documents for your first meeting with your lawyer, if possible. The most crucial information to have is financial information. Bring bank statements, the past two years of tax filings, statements on your IRAs, mortgages, credit cards, and other debts. It can also help to make a list of your living expenses and bring pay stubs from both you and your spouse. Child support and spousal support will be determined in large part by these factors. If you have documentation of any of the issues within your marriage, such as receipts that are linked to an affair, you can also provide these to your divorce lawyer during this meeting.

  • Should You Report Alimony on Your Tax Return?

    Filing taxes after a divorce can be complex, particularly if alimony payments are involved. Your divorce lawyer in Owning Mills can offer advice about filing your taxes after a divorce. This video addresses a common question that people have about alimony and taxes.

    Generally, alimony payments are taxable income for the recipient and deductible expenses for the person paying the alimony. If you are the person paying the alimony, you will need to include the Social Security number of your ex on your taxes so the IRS can determine where those payments are going. If you are unsure about how alimony and other aspects of your divorce may impact your taxes, ask your divorce lawyer for advice or a referral to a tax professional.

  • Recent Changes to Maryland’s Domestic Violence Laws

    If you are a victim of domestic violence, you have the right to consult a family attorney in Owings Mills to discuss your legal rights and options. Your attorney can advise you of recent changes to domestic violence laws in Maryland , which took effect late in 2014. Prior to the passage of the new laws, Maryland had been the only state that required domestic violence victims to meet the standard of “clear and convincing evidence” before a protective order is granted. Now, your attorney must only show that there is a “preponderance of the evidence.” In other words, it’s easier for domestic violence victims to obtain an order of protection.

    Another of the recent laws adds second-degree assault to the list of criminal offenses for which victims can request a protective order that is permanent in nature. Domestic violence victims should be sure to inform their family lawyer if a minor child was present during an act of violence. The third new law allows for enhanced penalties in these circumstances.

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