Unless the other parent has been denied visitation rights because of domestic violence, it’s rarely an ideal situation for the custodial parent to move far away with the child. Children need ongoing, strong relationships with each parent for their healthy development and mental health. Before considering a long-distance move away from the noncustodial parent, custodial parents should speak with a child custody lawyer in Owings Mills. Noncustodial parents who have been advised of a possible relocation should also talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
Providing Notice of the Relocation
Custodial parents who wish to relocate must have their attorneys provide a written notice at least 90 days before the scheduled move. The notice must be filed with the family court, and delivered via certified mail, return receipt requested to the noncustodial parent. Under certain circumstances, it may be acceptable for the relocating parent to file the notice less than 90 days before moving, as long as the parent does so as quickly as possible and the move is necessary (i.e., for financial reasons).
Agreeing to the Relocation
Maryland child custody laws require relocating parents to provide notice regardless of whether the move will be within the state or across state lines. It’s possible that the noncustodial parent won’t object to the relocation if the distance isn’t considerable. If the noncustodial parent does agree to the relocation request, both parents can file their written agreement terms with the court.
Objecting to the Relocation
It’s common for noncustodial parents to object to long-distance relocations. They must do so within 20 days of receiving the notice. Their attorneys must file a petition that asks the court to block the relocation. Then, the court sets an expedited hearing date. It’s wise to have legal representation at this hearing.
Issuing a Court Ruling
During the hearing, the court will consider any available evidence, including testimony from both parents, before making a decision. Judges have broad discretion in deciding whether to allow relocations. The overriding concern is whether the move would be in the child’s best interests.
A child support attorney serving the Owings Mills area can estimate how much you can expect to pay, based on the state’s guidelines and your family’s finances. Unlike child custody, there is a set formula that divorce judges follow to determine a fair child support payment .
When you watch this video, you’ll learn that this formula relies on both parents’ income, household expenses, and the child’s financial needs. You’ll be asked to fill out a detailed financial statement, and your ex-spouse will do the same. Your attorney will adjust your net income based on whether you pay or receive alimony. If you already pay child support for children from a different relationship, these payments will be taken into consideration. Additionally, the courts may consider the family’s standard of living prior to the divorce.
Domestic violence laws in Owings Mills allow a victim to ask the court to prohibit the abuser from legally going near the victim. In Maryland, restraining orders resulting from domestic violence are called protective orders, and they may be either temporary or permanent. Temporary protective orders only go into effect for up to one month. Permanent protective orders are valid for longer than one month, usually several months or perhaps years. It’s also possible for an attorney to renew an expired protective order if the protected person is still at risk of harmful actions by the person named in the order.
Protective orders are issued against household members and former household members. The victim may need protection from a spouse or ex-spouse, partner or ex-partner, family member, or roommate. Victims can request protection from an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, even if the two individuals never cohabited. Permanent protective orders direct the abuser to not engage in physical violence, threatening behaviors, or any sort of harassment, and to stay away from the victim’s home and workplace.
Under divorce law in Maryland, spousal desertion is one of the grounds for a fault-based divorce . If you think you may have been legally deserted or you’re considering leaving the marital home, it is highly advisable to speak with a divorce lawyer in Owings Mills. Your family lawyer can determine whether your situation meets one of the two legal definitions of spousal desertion in Maryland. The state recognizes two types of desertion: actual desertion and constructive desertion.
Actual desertion occurs when one spouse leaves the marital home or when one spouse ejects the other spouse from the marital home. This means that it’s possible for you to commit spousal desertion even if you did not actually leave the home. Constructive desertion occurs when the mistreatment of one spouse by the other compels the mistreated spouse to leave the marital home. In this case, the spouse who mistreated the other would be considered the deserter. When spousal desertion is used as grounds for divorce, the court can take it into consideration when issuing rulings on property division and spousal support.
Regardless of the type of child custody arrangement you have, it may be possible to get a child support order modified. Talk to a lawyer in Owings Mills who is knowledgeable about divorce law. Your family law lawyer may be able to file a petition to request a modified court order if you can demonstrate that you have experienced significant financial changes that affect your ability to pay the current support order. For instance, you may have suffered job loss or hour reductions. Or, you may have recently become responsible for paying child support for a different child.
As you’ll learn by watching this featured video, it may also be possible to request a modification of child support based on changes in the financial circumstances of the other parent. If the custodial parent has recently secured a higher paying job or has received a large inheritance, it may be possible to reduce the support obligations.
As difficult as divorce can be for parents, it is far more disruptive to a child’s life. However, responsible co-parenting is a way to limit the negative effects of a divorce on children and help them adjust to the new arrangement. Talk to a child custody lawyer in Owings Mills about creating a parenting plan that is in the children’s best interests.
You can learn more about co-parenting by watching this video. This life coach clears up common child custody issues such as finding a mutually agreeable communication method with the other parent and getting on the same page with regard to chores, discipline, bedtime, and extracurricular activities. This life coach stresses the importance of never saying disparaging things about the other parent where the children can hear.
Divorce law is complex and is periodically redesigned. There are also plenty of misconceptions about divorce law, which further complicates matters. Your best source for accurate, up-to-date information is a family attorney in Owings Mills. Ahead of your initial consultation, write a list of your questions and concerns.
Myth: Assets listed under one spouse’s name are off-limits.
Your family lawyer may ask you to bring a complete list of assets to your consultation. This allows him or her to give you an estimate of how the judge will likely divide your property. One common misconception is that anything solely listed in the name of one spouse cannot be divided among both spouses. In fact, a Maryland court can order the redistribution of any marital asset. In other words, if a spouse purchased a truck during the marriage, it is considered a marital asset and it can be included in a marital property award.
Myth: Retirement assets cannot be divided.
Similarly, retirement assets are considered to be marital property if they were earned during the course of the marriage. This means that the court may redistribute a 401(k) pension plan, IRA, military pension plan, or other retirement assets.
Myth: Spouses can be separated, but live in the same house.
Maryland divorce law is among the strictest in the country. Before you can finalize a divorce, you and your spouse may be required to undergo a one-year separation. It’s often thought that spouses can legally be considered separated as long as they sleep in separate bedrooms. In most cases, spouses can only be considered separated if they maintain separate residences for 12 consecutive months. During this time, the spouses must also abstain from marital relations.
Myth: Legal separation is always required before an absolute divorce.
Maryland recently revamped its divorce laws to make it easier for some spouses to obtain an absolute divorce without enduring a 12-month separation. Spouses who do not share children in common and who work out a divorce settlement agreement that resolves all involved issues can be granted an absolute divorce much more quickly.
Going to family court can be an intimidating experience, especially if it’s your first time. However, having a family attorney on your side will make all the difference. A family law attorney near Pikesville will advise you as to what you can expect from your day in court, how you can prepare, and how you should conduct yourself during the proceedings. Your family attorney will also likely review the details of your case with you and help you practice answering questions if you expect to give testimony.
In most cases, children should not be taken to family court. The exception is if the judge wishes to speak privately with the children. You can ask your family lawyer about this, but in most cases, it’s necessary to arrange childcare. To reduce your children’s anxiety, you can simply tell them that you have an appointment.
Talk to your attorney about the documents you should bring to the hearing. If you aren’t sure whether you should bring a particular document, err on the side of caution and bring it along just in case. For the average child custody case, petitioners and respondents might bring records of their correspondence with each other, logs of correspondence with the minor child and educational records such as report cards and progress reports. Records of correspondence with the child can help to either prove or disprove a parent’s continuous communication with the child and the ongoing parental relationship. Parents might also keep records of the visitation schedule with the child.
It should go without saying that attending a hearing in family court is a formal affair. Make a good first impression by dressing appropriately for the occasion. For men, a suit is always appropriate, but a shirt with a collar and a pair of slacks should be considered the bare minimum. Ladies may wear a pants or skirt suit, dark, non-patterned dress, or dress pants paired with a long-sleeved blouse. It’s best to avoid wearing flashy, skintight clothing, revealing clothing, sneakers, or open-toed shoes.
It’s possible that your hearing may not start on time. However, you should always arrive a little early. You’ll need to get your bearings, check in with the court officer, and get last-minute advice from your family law attorney.
Child support law is different from state to state, although parents in every state have a legal obligation to support their children. In Maryland, divorce law establishes a set of guidelines that the court is required to apply in order to arrive at the amount of the payment. When you consult a family law attorney near Pikesville, he or she can answer any questions you may have about divorce law and child support payments.
Completing a Financial Statement
The family court requires parents to complete a financial statement , sometimes referred to as a financial affidavit. This document is helpful for organizing your income and expenses. You will be required to provide accurate information about your total monthly income, alimony you are either paying or receiving, and child support you may already be receiving. You should expect to be required to provide documentation supporting these figures, so it is important that they are accurate. The financial statement also requests information on the child’s expenses, including the monthly health insurance premium, extraordinary monthly medical expenses, school and transportation costs, and monthly child care expenses. The child care expenses must arise from work needs. In other words, you can count payments to caregivers who watch your child during your work hours. Extraordinary medical expenses are those that are not covered by insurance and total more than $100 per condition or illness.
Evaluating Imputed Income
Imputed income is income that a spouse does not actually earn, but is capable of earning. In other words, if the other parent of your child chooses not to work, but is not considered disabled, the court may apply imputed income to the child support formula. In order to do so, the court must determine that the other parent is voluntarily impoverished. Evidence of voluntary impoverishment may include the parent’s medical records, level of education, job-seeking efforts, and work history.
Adjusting the Calculated Amount
The court uses all of these factors to calculate the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent is required to pay. However, if the parents have a combined income of more than $15,000 per month, the court is not required to follow this formula. Instead, the court can evaluate the needs of the children to establish an acceptable child support obligation.
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.
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