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Baltimore Family Law Blog

Divorce rates can be correlated with job choices

A Maryland couple's likelihood of divorce could be related to their jobs, research has found. Using statistics from the 2015 American Community Survey, researchers looked at which jobs have higher rates of divorce. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people with careers involving nightlife or a large amount of travel have some of the highest divorce rates in the country.

On the other hand, software engineers, physicians, actuaries and scientists tend to have lower rates of divorce. While many of these careers are known for their professionalism and efficiency, they are also higher-income fields that can lead to reduced stress about money and spending. Overall, the data indicated that average higher incomes are tied to a reduced divorce rate, perhaps because disputes over finances are reduced when there is less financial pressure on a couple.

When going through a divorce, keep your eye on the prize

The divorce process is never easy. This is especially true when it comes to handling custody issues, alimony needs, and separating extensive property. For example, if you own real estate in Annapolis or the surrounding area, other than your main residence, you could be facing a long and drawn out process.

While part of you may be tempted to throw in the towel and take the first settlement your soon-to-be ex-husband offers, keep in mind that you only get one shot at this. If you walk away with a settlement that does not provide enough to keep you living the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to, you do not get a do-over. Instead, hold your ground and settle in for the long-haul. Only by fighting for what you want, do you have any chance of getting it. Read further for some tips to help you get the settlement you deserve.

Establishing rules for separate households

Maryland parents who are ending their marriage will need to discuss how to proceed with their parenting plan. Most parents want to give their children as much stability and security as possible when the family structure changes so drastically and one way to provide this is by establishing rules that will be effect in both parents' homes. This provides constancy and normalcy for children who are already dealing with the major changes a divorce brings.

The parenting plan is usually part of the child custody agreement, but to reach an accord, it is really important for parents to meet face-to-face and talk. While this can be uncomfortable, parents should remember that establishing similar rules in both homes is in the best interest of the children involved, as having two sets of rules that are polar opposites to each other might just lead to the children being confused and even emotionally hurt.

The need for shared parenting for working moms

Maryland parents may not know that Canada has a much higher ratio of women working than the United States. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one may be the way that child custody decisions are made by divorce courts. Historically, courts in the majority of cases have awarded sole or primary physical custody to mothers.

While this may seem like a victory to the mother, it also confines her to traditional homemaker roles. Certainly, this could place undue limits on a woman's ability to advance at work and assume more responsibility. However, with more American women entering the workforce, there is a greater need to make shared custody a more normalized outcome following a divorce.

Planning for recurring child-related expenses

In Maryland, many divorce cases involve parents who share children. When parents are planning to divorce, they may want to think about who will be responsible to pay for the children's expenses for things such as returning to school and extracurricular activities. By including these types of issues in parenting plans, the exes may avoid future disagreements.

When a child is getting ready to go back to school, the parents will need to purchase many items. Children may need new clothing, shoes, coats and more in addition to their school supplies. These costs can quickly add up, leading to arguments between the parents about paying for them.

When mediation is not a good option for a couple

At some point, a Maryland couple may decide that it is time for the marriage to end. Once this decision has been made, the couple will need to decide how they want to actually go about getting the divorce. One popular method for dissolving a marriage is to go through mediation. While it certainly has its advantages, mediation is not for everyone.

In order for mediation to work, both parties have to be able to work together. This means being able to listen to the other person's concerns and accepting his or her view of how and why the marriage ended. For example, if one person is intent on playing the role of the victim and refusing to work with the other person, it is likely that the case may end up in litigation.

When DNA tests may be ordered to establish paternity

Unmarried parents in Maryland may need to get DNA tests in order to establish paternity for the purposes of child support, child custody and visitation. When parents are unmarried when the children are born, the men are not automatically deemed to be the fathers. Instead, they are known as alleged fathers until their paternity is established.

When unmarried mothers need to establish paternity in order to get child support, they may file motions with the court requesting that a DNA test be ordered. DNA will be collected from both the alleged father and the child and sent to a laboratory. If the father is shown by DNA testing to be the father, the mother can request a child support order. If the test shows that the man is not the biological father of the child, no child support order will be issued.

This is what you need to know about adultery in Maryland

Many marriages are ended as a result of adultery. Adultery is strictly defined as having voluntary sexual intercourse with someone who is not your spouse while you're married. Adultery can ruin the trust between two people and result in hurt feels and an end to a marriage.

In the past, divorces could only happen with a good reason in mind. Adultery was one of them. Today, Maryland does recognize adultery as grounds for divorce. If you choose to pursue a divorce on the basis of adultery, you will not need to be separated voluntarily for two years before you file for divorce.

Closing a joint bank account while divorcing

When Maryland couples are heading toward divorce, some of the challenges can be not only emotional but also practical. Even when a split is amicable, shared assets can often lead to confusion. This can be especially true with joint bank accounts, especially when both parties have bills or other automatic payments connected directly to the account.

A joint bank account means that the account is fully shared by two or more people. Each person who is on the account is a full owner of the account with the right to access all of the funds stored there as well as the right to close the account. At the end of a marriage, closing a joint bank account can help to tie up loose ends.

Keeping the marital home in a divorce

Maryland couples who are going through a divorce may be concerned about what marital property they may get to keep when the divorce is finalized. One of the main goals for many is the family home, especially if there are children involved. While the decision to try and retain ownership of the home is often made for emotional reasons, those wanting the home should step back and determine if this is a financially sound decision.

In many cases, the family home is the single biggest asset that must be dealt with during a divorce. If a person wants to retain ownership of the home, it is likely that he or she will have to buy out the former spouse's portion of the home or allow the former spouse to take ownership of other assets, such as a family car.