Men and Divorce in Maryland
Divorce is never easy. It’s something that no one really wants to go through. Divorce can impact friendships and work relationships. Children may have to grow accustomed to living in two homes and spending less time with their classmates, aunts, uncles, cousins and other people who are important to them.
There are many reasons why couples decide to divorce. Some may have simply fallen out of love with one another. Others could be affected by their partner’s addictions or abusive behavior. Regardless of why a divorce is requested, each partner should work together to resolving their issues in a constructive manner. They should also take the best interests of their children to heart.
What Rights Do Men Have When It Comes to a Divorce?
The state of Maryland uses equitable distribution for dividing assets. All marital and non-marital assets will be evaluated. Partners may need to provide proof (such as sales receipts and copies of mortgage loan contracts, etc.) to verify when ownership of the marital home, vehicles and other significant assets were initially obtained.
Unless a prenuptial agreement is already in place that clearly states what will happen to assets in the event of a divorce, a judge will make every effort to divide those items fairly between the spouses. No party should have an unfair advantage over the other.
One partner cannot force the other to leave the marital home. If the residence was acquired during the marriage, both spouses have the same rights to that property. This is true even if one partner did not make any mortgage payments or make any other associated financial contributions and if only one spouse’s name is on the mortgage contract or home deed.
Maryland courts may enact orders that prohibit a spouse from living in that residence for up to a year. A protective order will be issued if the judge has reason to believe that person could potentially harm their former spouse or if they have a history of abuse against that person or any other people who have lived in the house.
Both partners have rights to child custody and child visitation in most instances. Certain exceptions may apply, such as if one spouse is currently incarcerated, has exhibited cruelty or vicious behavior or has separated from or deserted their partner for an extended period of time. Otherwise, each parent should be able to spend time with their children for roughly the same amount of time every year. Visitation schedules will need to be prepared. This can be done before or during the divorce proceedings. Schedules may be subject to modifications because of inclement weather, a change in one parent’s employment or vacation plans or adjustments that are made to a child’s school schedule.
A father may also be entitled to alimony or be in charge of child support money that is received from their former spouse. These terms are usually decided in a separation agreement. If the couple cannot create their own agreement, they can be prepared by a judge in a court of law.
Each partner’s current income, expenses and other financial obligations will be used in determining child support and alimony (also referred to as spousal support). A judge will also examine partners’ earning potential and any training or schooling that they may be enrolled in that will allow them to become financially self-sufficient. Alimony can be ordered for specific amount of time or it can be indefinite. If the person who was receiving alimony payments gets remarried, their alimony would cease once the new marriage becomes official.
Mediation isn’t mandatory for a divorce. The only exception is court-ordered mediation when incidents of child abuse have been reported. Couples may choose to enlist the assistance of a professional mediator to help them decide how property will be divided and come up with an equitable child visitation schedule, for example. Any agreements that are made during a mediation session are not legally binding in the state of Maryland. They can be brought to the court during divorce proceedings or a judge can decide those issues for the defendant and plaintiff.
It’s illegal for a custodial parent to deny visitation to the other parent. The custodial agreement that is put in place must be followed by both parents. They will need to work together if any schedule adjustments need to be made.
What Kinds of Divorce Are There?
There are two types of divorce at this time in Maryland: limited divorce and absolute divorce. Limited divorce is temporary. It may only be for a few weeks or months at the most. Limited divorces can be used as a legal separation. It can also give partners time to determine their alimony, child support and child visitation arrangement. Limited divorce does not end a marriage.
A marriage will be terminated once an absolute divorce has been granted. A divorce decree is the last order for that divorce. This document will be made available in writing for both parties.
Before a divorce can be granted, the person making the request must provide reasoning. A divorce can be either due to certain fault-based grounds (such as adultery, separation, desertion, abuse, incarceration or insanity) or no fault. Both spouses may mutually decide to seek a divorce in certain no-fault cases.
After the divorce decree has been signed and stamped, the divorce will be final. Couples can’t change their minds once the divorce has been granted. However, they may opt to remarry later on.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce or if you’ve been served divorce papers, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation. Our trained professionals will sit down and listen to what you have to say. We will make recommendations, help with paperwork and even represent you if you want.
Children need stable home environments. They should be able to feel safe and secure when visiting both parents. They shouldn’t have to worry about a parent who has difficulty staying employed or letting go of their marriage. It’s important for parents to be able to bond with their children as they grow. Children look up to their parental figures, most of which are the ones that teach them right from wrong and other valuable life lessons.
Divorce forever changes the family dynamic. Children will have to adjust to their new situation quickly. This may mean going to a new school and making new friends. Some children may even feel that they were the reason why their parents are no longer together.
Communication is important in those instances. Both parents should make the time to talk with their children to explain why they are seeking a divorce. Their best interests should always be put first. Having tough conversations may make it easier for children and parents to understand one another. It can also make the process of moving on much less stressful.