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Learning about divorce from celebrity splits

Maryland couples who are divorcing may find that they are overwhelmed with well-meaning advice. While it is best not to put too much stock in anecdotes from others, there are lessons that can be learned from celebrity breakups. For example, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner chose the day after their 10th anniversary to announce their divorce. After 10 years of marriage, a lower-earning spouse may be able to make a claim for Social Security on their former spouse's earnings history. There may also be military or other state benefits. For Affleck and Garner, the timing was probably related to something in a prenuptial agreement.

Sometimes, entertainment news gets it wrong, as illustrated by Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy who were erroneously reported to be sharing a New York apartment during their divorce because each feared losing their claim on it. In fact, a home bought with marital assets does not necessarily belong who is living there at any given time.

Many couples might have to deal with intellectual property issues. This could include an interest in copyrights, patents or trademarks. These may be considered marital property and also subject to division, depending upon when they were acquired.

There can be many misconceptions about the divorce process. A consultation with an attorney might clear up some of those misconceptions and prepare a divorcing client for what to expect. For example, a person might wonder whether an inheritance received during the marriage counts as marital property. This may depend on what was done with the inheritance and whether it was deposited into a joint account. People may also wonder how child support or alimony might be calculated. By bringing in documentation about income, assets and debts, they may be able to get answers to these questions.

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