Law Offices of Jonathan Gladstone
Free Consultations 410-777-8228
Effective Representation for Complex Issues

Baltimore Family Law Blog

Dealing with unemployment during divorce

When people in Maryland decide to divorce, they can face a range of changes in all aspects of their lives. In addition, some unrelated situations can have an impact on how the divorce progresses. For example, if one spouse loses a job during divorce negotiations, it can affect decisions about child or spousal support. This does not mean that a spouse who becomes unemployed during the divorce will shed his or her support obligations; instead, the court is likely to look at the reasons for unemployment as well as future job prospects.

If a divorcing spouse lost a job due to layoffs, restructuring or a similar issue, that person would be well-placed to argue for a change in support obligations that reflects current income accurately. On the other hand, if the job loss was a firing for cause due to misconduct or the laid-off spouse is not seeking new employment, the court may hold that person to their prior income levels when determining their support obligations. The same is true for lower-earning spouses; if they lose a job for cause, they are unlikely to receive additional spousal support.

Know what it takes to establish paternity

To establish your rights as a father, you'll want to make sure you're knowledgeable about the law and what you need to do. Every man's situation is different. Some need to have DNA tests. Others can voluntarily admit paternity. Others have to take the mother to court to seek testing and to obtain their rights.

Your situation may be different than the above, but the most important factor is being able to get the legal rights that come with fathering a child. You want to be in your child's life, and it's essential that you get that opportunity.

Valuation, taxes and buyouts complicate business owner divorces

When small business owners in Maryland pursue divorces, their business assets often represent marital property. Dividing the property between two ex-spouses to settle the divorce involves identifying the current value of the business, consideration of taxes and how to structure a buyout of an ex-spouse who co-owned the business.

The task of valuing the company is usually given to an appraiser who specializes in the valuation of businesses. The appraiser will investigate business expenses and income and calculate the current market value of the business. Settlement negotiations will proceed once the final figures have been determined.

Mistakes divorced parents should avoid with teens

Raising a teen can be challenging even during the best of times. However, divorced parents in Maryland may have some extra hurdles to clear. As children turn into teens, co-parents might feel like they are nearly at the end of a long road and ease up on their communication with one another. This can be a mistake.

Exes should keep talking to each other about what their teen is dealing with. They shouldn't make assumptions about what the other parent knows. For example, a parent who has not met a teen's friends may assume that the other parent has, but this might not be the case. Another mistake is starting to use the teen to take messages back and forth instead of communicating with one another. This is not a reliable method of communication, and it can backfire by placing the teen in the middle or giving the teenager too much power.

Unique circumstances in LGBT divorce issues

Going through a divorce for any Maryland couple can be difficult, especially if there are marital assets or children involved. However, going through a divorce within the LGBT community can be even more difficult due to the unique stressors and legal complications that the community faces.

Children are often the main point of contention in the LGBT community. Part of what can make divorce and child custody so difficult is that there are often more than two people involved in creating a family. LGBT parents often rely on sperm donors, egg donors and surrogates to bring children into the world. In some cases, the other parties want to be involved in raising the children, making custody and child support a difficult situation to understand and deal with for the courts.

Staying in the marital home after a divorce

When Maryland couples decide to divorce, handling what to do with the family home can be one of the most challenging questions. It can be one of the most substantial assets held by a couple, and people may also have strong emotional ties to the house. Especially when kids are involved, parents may want to see their children remain in the same home if it is financially possible. There are a number of issues for people to consider before finalizing their decision.

The situation may vary depending on the amount of equity the couple has in the home. In some cases, the couple may have relatively low equity and the majority of the mortgage may still be due, while others own their homes free and clear. In order to properly understand the equity held in the home, couples can obtain an appraisal that targets a reasonable estimate of the home's value. From this, outstanding debts like mortgages or home equity loans can be subtracted in order to garner a clear understanding of how much equity the couple has to divide in the divorce.

Considerations for judges in calculating spousal, child support

After a divorce, some people in Maryland might be required to pay child and spousal support. Each state has its own system for calculating these, but courts also have a certain amount of discretion in determining what a person will pay. They may look beyond each person's income.

Other sources of money may be considered along with a person's salary. This could include signing bonuses, partnership distributions and deferred compensation. If the income reported on tax returns does not appear sufficient to support the family's lifestyle, the court may look at what other means of support were available. For example, if a person has been receiving a significant amount of money from family, that may also be taken into account. The court may also make an effort to ensure that children are able to have a similar lifestyle after the divorce.

Fighting for custody? These tips can help

Men sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to child custody in divorce. While they may be fantastic fathers, the reality is that most men are the breadwinners and were unlikely to be home as much as the children's mothers. That means that the men have less experience raising their children and may not even have had the time to participate in activities that their children were part of.

It's a sad truth, but those who cannot show the significance of their relationship with their children can be relegated to seeing them less often than they'd like, even if they've always been provided for by their fathers. Fortunately, if you know that a divorce is in the works, you can begin to take steps to assert your rights and to show how invested you are in your child's life.

How to keep divorce out of the office

Keeping work life and the divorce process separate can be challenging, but it is necessary. People must take steps to ensure that the divorce does not hurt their performance at work and that they do not jeopardize any part of the divorce process by being careless with confidentiality.

It is unlikely that a coworker would be deposed in the divorce process, but it is not impossible, and this is just one reason to separate professional life from the divorce. Using a work email address and an unsecured server to communicate about the divorce could put the attorney-client privilege in danger. People should take calls about the divorce outside or in a private office. They should be careful about leaving any confidential documents about the divorce where they can be discovered.

Domestic violence threatens the lives of teen girls

Experts have long understood that domestic violence is a major cause of death for women in Maryland and across the United States. However, according to a new study, violence perpetrated by former or current romantic partners also poses a significant threat to the lives of teenage girls.

For the study, which was published in JAMA Pediatrics on April 15, researchers analyzed law enforcement and medical examiner records from over 2,000 cases involving the killings of teenagers between 2003 and 2016. They found that nearly 7% of the cases involved victims who had been killed by former or current romantic partners. The average age of those victims was 17 years old, and 90% of them were girls. In comparison, the perpetrator in 80% of the cases was 18 years old or above.