Did you know that you can look at the docket entries on-line using the Maryland Judiciary Case Search website? Whether your divorce is in Howard County or any other jurisdiction in the State of Maryland, all you have to do is type in the website, agree with the terms of service and then look up any divorce, family law, divorce, child support or other case. In fact, it is true for most other civil and criminal cases as well.
Ending a relationship with a separation or ending a marriage with a divorce, whether it is in Howard County or elsewhere in the State of Maryland, presents challenges, especially when the two of you are living in the same home. Perhaps both of you own it, or perhaps only one of you owns it.
Picture this. You live in a relatively affluent jurisdiction, like Howard County, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Baltimore or Carroll. You think you might be getting a divorce. Or, you know you want to separate and divorce, and you want to start financially planning before your spouse gets wise to what you are doing. Or, you fear your spouse is about to drain the accounts. Or, your spouse already did.
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to planning for your divorce. The first thought is why bother, because everything is going to come out in the end. The second thought is to grab whatever you can now because you are going to need it when the lawyers get involved. A third thought is to covertly plan for as long as you possibly can, with your spouse being none the wiser. A fourth is a bit more seedy-lie, cheat and steal to put as much money and assets away as possible and then deny their existence during the divorce.
Perhaps the most popular forms of divorce planning are the Pre-Nuptial Agreement and the Post-Nuptial Agreement.
More often than not, however, when something goes wrong in a marriage, setting the stage for a divorce, spouses begin to think about how to divorce plan.
THIS IS THE TIME TO CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED DIVORCE ATTORNEY! Why try to figure it out on your own? The experienced family law attorney can walk you through how to protect assets, income, property and more. Should you keep contributing to your retirement plan, knowing that your spouse may be getting half of it? Should you drain your home equity line of credit to ensure that your spouse does not do so first? Same answer with asset accounts and other accounts.
If you have beloved property and you do not want to come home to find it broken or missing, perhaps you should make sure it isn't there. Some spouses remove possessions they know the other spouse wants, just to use as leverage.
Just remember this. Whatever covert actions you take now could always come back to bit you in the end. I have heard it all: secreting money or property to another family member, buying tens of thousands of dollars of train tickets and then refunding them after the divorce is final, buying forever stamps, paying off a mortgage with an asset or account to deprive your spouse of liquid cash. The list of tricks and tips goes on and on.
Did I say you should consult an experienced divorce attorney? Yeah, do that. Now.
The one question I get asked all of the time as a divorce attorney in Maryland, as well as throughout Howard County, Montgomery, Carroll Anne Arundel, Baltimore and the surrounding areas, is how do I find the right people to help me.
I have people ask all of the time for referrals to all types of professionals, including but not limited to
marital and couples counselorsreal estate agentsmortgage brokersmental health professionalsaccountants and CPAseducational consultantscollege consultantsfinancial aid specialists
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, of course. While there may be a great deal of humor and jokes that accompany the topic of divorce, as well as divorce attorneys. Some of it may even be warranted. But I will tell you this: the well-tooled divorce attorney can provide countless referrals to clients to ease passage from your past to your future.
I love when my clients go with their spouse to either a marriage counselor or couples counselor. The truth of the matter is, most of my client complain-appropriately so-about some aspect of the counseling process. You need the right counselor for the right facts. Going to the wrong counselor often causes more harm than good. Whether it is in Howard County or elsewhere throughout Maryland, experienced divorce and family law attorneys should be able to provide solid referrals.
Do you think real estate agents are a dime a dozen? Think again? There are not only real estate agents who are the movers and shakers of their community. There are also agents who specialize in divorce cases, and a few who focus on short sales and foreclosures. Finding the right real estate agent in a market like Howard County during your divorce can be a challenge, but one an experienced divorce attorney should easily be able to handle.
The same is true for mortgage brokers. There are specialized divorce mortgage brokers, who help each spouse purchase a new residence. These folks, who get paid totally on the other end of the deal, work tirelessly to help people move forward.
These are but a few examples of the many professionals you will need as part of your "village" to move forward in your divorce.
Got a question? Give me a call. The attorneys at SIEGELLAW will likely have an answer for you.
Whenever I meet with a new client, I like to ask what they have researched and where they found the information.
So, you want a Maryland divorce? It does not matter if you are in Howard County, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County or anywhere else in the State of Maryland. If you want a divorce, you need to be separated for a year. Unless. . .
The most simple answer is no.
Whether you divorce occurs in Howard County or any other jurisdiction throughout Maryland, you will be under the scrutiny of both a Master and a Judge if you have a divorce trial. How you act actually begins before you ever separate.
On April 11, 2014, I had the opportunity to moderate my annual Maryland Family Law Seminar for the Family Law Section of the Maryland Association for Justice, a section I founded nearly 15 years ago.
When you go through a divorce in the State of Maryland, you have a lot of competing thoughts going through your head. We can assume for this blog that the hearing will occur in the Circuit Court for Howard County, but it could be any other circuit court, as well.