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Glen Burnie Family Law Blog

Don't forget about debt during property division

When many Maryland spouses are preparing to divorce, the division of marital wealth is a top area of concern. This is understandable, as the outcome of the property division process will shape the financial lives of both parties for many years to come. When considering property division, it's critical to understand the role that debt plays during that process.

Existing debt must be divided in much the same way as existing assets. In some cases, that can mean that one spouse is forced to assume a share of debt that he or she took no active role in creating. However, without a properly structured legal approach, that outcome is a strong possibility.

Darious McCrary asks for reduced child support payments

Some fathers in Maryland and across the country are confused about how to establish a relationship with their children, but former child actor Darius McCrary formed an organization called FathersCare to assist fathers in need. The organization was designed to provide needed resources to fathers such as education and legal services with a goal for fathers to have better relationships with their children. Apparently, the organization has not been active for some time and likely has not been a source of help for Darius with his current legal trouble. Darius has recently requested a family court for a reduction in his child support payments.

McCrary played Eddie Winslow for years on the formally popular television show "Family Matters." Sadly, 41-year-old McCrary's acting career has not been very lucrative. He claims that his acting abilities only generated only $500 in income last year, and the actor's most recent job only expects to generate him $875. To add to his financial stress, he has an unpaid debt to the Internal Revenue Service of $90,000. Despite the lower income, the actor has been expected to continue making child support payments.

Armandod Montelongo's alimony agreement revealed

Many Maryland residents likely know someone who has gone through an ugly divorce. Whatever the reason for the failed marriage, decisions of alimony, property division and child custody can be difficult to determine. One couple who became famous because of a house flipping show has recently battled in court about their alimony agreement almost five years after their divorce has finalized.

The couple, Armando Montelongo and former wife Veronica, became famous through their real estate and house flipping business. Cable television aired a show called "Flip this House," featuring multiple homes that they flipped, resulting in the couple's popularity. The couple quietly divorced approximately six years after the show initially aired.

The benefits of collaboration during property division

Many Maryland spouses take a very narrow view of divorce, believing that every couple goes through a highly contentious process that leaves all parties worse for wear. In reality, couples have the power to choose how their divorce will move forward. For those who are able to work together to reach a shared goal, collaboration offers a number of benefits. Nowhere are those benefits more distinct than in regard to property division.

In the best cases, spouses work together to divide marital assets in a manner that makes good financial sense. They carefully evaluate the pros and cons of various property division strategies, looking at the tax ramifications, fines, fees and other costs associated with each option. When it's time to determine who gets what, that decision is made with an eye toward preserving as much wealth as possible to be divided between parties.

Judge tries to correct order in child custody case

Maryland readers may be aware of an unusual custody case in which a convicted rapist received joint legal custody of a child conceived during an assault. The case has sparked outrage across the nation, with many arguing that the rights of the victim and her child should be placed above those of the biological father. The child custody matter has been temporarily halted as the judge in the case scrambles to correct the matter.

The only reason the case went before a court was because the mother filed for financial assistance through her state's Department of Health and Human Services. The state requires that when one parent seeks financial assistance, he or she must pursue financial support from the other parent. In this case, the other "parent" was a man who raped the mother when she was just 12 years of age.

Divorce may end a marriage but needn’t bring happiness to a halt

Maryland married couples are certainly not immune to the many challenges and problems faced by other couples. When pursuing divorce, it's not uncommon to be concerned about one's future, how children will adapt and how finances will change. It's also natural to worry how well one will fare as a single person. A key factor to successfully overcoming the challenges of divorce lies in knowing what resources are available and where to turn for help when needed.

As mentioned in a guide about post-divorce living by Demon Pearlman, it's typically best to begin by recognizing that a wide array of emotions may surface in the process. Denying one's emotions may have negative consequences on emotional and physical health. Acknowledging these feelings and allowing oneself to embrace the ebb and flow of emotions that occur increases one's chances for moving forward in a positive manner.

You should consider the benefits offered by prenuptial agreements

Preparing for marriage is an exciting time for a Maryland couple. In the midst of the excitement, however, it is beneficial to think about protecting future interests. One of the ways that some couples do this is through prenuptial agreements. While it is not a romantic thought, it is smart to consider what will happen to your property and assets in a divorce. 

Some people believe that, in order to benefit from a prenuptial agreement, one must have significant wealth or assets. In reality, that is not the case. Most people could benefit from having certain protections in place in case their marriage does not end well. The simple effort of just outlining property division and defining marital assets can make a potential divorce in the future much easier. 

High asset divorce does not always mean equal property division

Maryland has its share of high-end divorces that require dividing property and allocating assets on a large-scale basis. Sometimes, the high asset divorce is a matter of public scrutiny due to intensive press coverage. Many such breakups, however, go essentially unreported due to the low-key nature of the wealth and personalities involved.

One higher-key individual, Richard Stephenson, is the CEO and founder of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He recently announced giving $5 million to help the Virgin Islands hurricane relief effort. That generous gesture belies the fact that Stephenson recently completed a bitter and protracted divorce settlement after an eight-year court battle.

Child custody case could lead to jail time for this mother

Most Maryland residents are aware that divorce and custody cases often take a turn for the worse. Even so, most people assume that their own child custody case will not follow a similar path. Far too many parents are shocked or blindsided when their spouse decides to take an aggressive stance on an issue that was never presented as a problem throughout the marriage. An example is found in a West Coast case in which a mother could spend time behind bars for refusing to comply with a court order.

The case centers on the issue of immunization. The couple shares a 9-year-old son, and when the boy was an infant they agreed to spread many of his vaccinations over a period of time in the belief that multiple vaccinations pose a risk of harm. In fact, they eventually stopped taking the child in for any vaccinations at all.

State heard child custody cases in separate court

There are certain situations that create a reaction within the community, and some to changes in the way the a local court system functions. An example is found in the state other than Maryland that up until recently heard child custody cases involving unwed parents in a different court from cases involving married parties. Public outrage and legal challenges led to a change in how cases are heard in that particular jurisdiction.

The state in question heard child custody cases involving unmarried parents in what was referred to as "parentage" court. Not only were unmarried parents given access to a different courtroom than married parties, that courtroom was located in converted storage space in the basement of a large court complex. Cases involving married parties were heard upstairs, in a courtroom appointed with more traditional furnishings and equipment.