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Rockville Divorce Law Blog

When deployment interferes with child custody disputes

When the men and women of the U.S. armed forces are deployed, they leave their families behind in order to serve the nation as a whole. They place their faith and trust in the idea that their families will be fine when they are gone. But sometimes, tragedy strikes. A family member dies or becomes ill while the service member is deployed. A natural disaster destroys his or her home. A judge insists that the service member must either return home or lose custody of his or her child.

“Wait!” you may be exclaiming. “The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects military families from that kind of action,” you may be insisting. And you are correct. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act does hold that deployed men and women are allowed to temporarily suspend administrative and legal proceedings pertaining to various family law matters. This act helps to ensure that service members are not denied child custody rights and other rights because they are deployed and cannot appear in court.

Is it time to start thinking about divorce?

We frequently write about the divorce process and all that it entails. An attorney experienced in family law can generally speak at length about the legal aspects of the divorce process and about the various approaches couples take when filing for divorce. However, no attorney can tell you with any kind of certainty whether or not you should file for divorce. That decision is up to you.

Of course, an attorney would likely advise you to leave as soon as you can do so safely if your marriage has become abusive. But beyond this seemingly bright line, it can be difficult to determine when divorce is the right choice for a couple and when it may not be. Only you know your values, limits and priorities well enough to know whether your marriage has ultimately become so unhealthy or unhappy that it is time to move on. However, it may take some time to reach a conclusion one way or another.

Why you need a divorce lawyer, even for amicable divorces

If you and your spouse have decided to go your separate ways, you likely already have a strong sense about whether or not you are going to be able to divorce amicably. Of course, sometimes tensions can cool and calmer heads can prevail in heated situations. Conversely, revelations and changes of heart can inspire amicable processes to turn contentious in a heartbeat. However, many spouses correctly assess whether or not they will be able to successfully navigate divorce mediation or will need to litigate their divorces from early in the process.

Whether you opt to mediate your divorce, litigate your divorce or process an uncontested divorce claim in a straightforward way, it remains important that you speak with an experienced attorney. Even the most straightforward of divorce claims can cause you unnecessary time, money and headaches that can easily be avoided if you consult with a legal expert first.

Preparing emotionally for the divorce mediation process

We frequently write about various challenges traditionally associated with the divorce process. Those individuals who choose to mediate their divorces tend to be able to sidestep a number of these challenges including complex litigation sessions and a divorce settlement that is ultimately determined by a judge as opposed to the parties affected by the process.

However, divorce mediation is often far from a walk in the park despite its numerous advantages. As a result, it is important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for your mediation sessions. Failure to do so could lead you to make rash decisions based on your emotional state instead of thinking clearly about how to best move forward in healthy ways.

Divorced? Ways you can aid loved ones who are divorcing now

If you have navigated the highs and lows of divorce, you almost certainly understand how critical it is to have a strong support system in place during the transition from married life to single life. However, you also almost certainly understand that not all support systems are created equal. Sometimes even the most well-intentioned loved ones can make aspects of the divorce process more difficult simply by approaching the art of support in certain ways.

Every divorce is unique. Therefore, loved ones who are divorcing now may need a different kind of support than you did when you were divorcing. You may be wondering exactly how you can support loved ones who are navigating their own divorces. Keeping a few tips in mind should help you provide solid support no matter how different a loved one’s divorce process is from yours.

Avoid these high-asset divorce missteps

If you and your spouse are wealthy and have complex assets, the property division portions of your pending divorce may seem overwhelming right now. Because you will soon be navigating some of the most challenging aspects of a high-asset divorce process, it is critical to both hire an attorney experienced in this specific kind of divorce and to take proactive steps towards securing a fair divorce settlement.

As much as an experienced family law attorney can help you achieve your goals, your personal actions and approach will inform the outcome of your divorce process in more ways than you can likely imagine.

Considerations for divorced parents thinking about relocating

If you are divorced or divorcing, it is important that you carefully consider several matters before attempting to relocate your child outside his or her current hometown and/or school district. Judges within the family law system are required to adjudicate matters of child custody and visitation in the affected child’s best interest. Therefore, if your relocation is not in your child’s best interest, your child’s other parent may have grounds to contest your move.

Even if your child’s other parent does not opt to bring a claim based on your relocation, modifying your parenting plan in accordance with your relocation-related circumstances may be a move worth considering. It is important to show the court and your co-parent that you are willing to parent cooperatively no matter where you are located. But more importantly, it is critical that you act in ways that benefit your child and will honor his or her relationship with your co-parent.

Divorce: Searching for assets your spouse may have hidden

For most Americans, divorce tends to affect nearly every aspect of an individual’s finances. Fighting for a fair and equitable divorce settlement may be a relatively expensive process for some individuals. However, the structure of any given divorce settlement will almost certainly affect an individual’s financial stability and success well into the future. As a result, it is important to ensure that property division settlements are fair to both affected parties.

However, some individuals try to hide certain assets from the divorce process in order to shield themselves from having to share with their spouses. It is important to understand that regardless of motive, hiding assets from the divorce process is almost always illegal. In addition, if a court discovers that you have been hiding assets from the divorce process, you may face serious consequences.

Why the divorce party trend seems to be here to stay

For the past several years, party planners, florists and cake makers have received an increasing number of requests for divorce-themed celebrations. Some of these celebrations are uplifting and focus on the future of the individual who is divorcing. Others are more focused on detaching from a spouse who may not have been a healthy choice. These spouses may even be depicted in cake form as being eaten by a dinosaur or meeting some other grisly fate.

Whether you choose to celebrate your divorce with some sort of symbolic gesture or celebration is entirely up to you. It does seem though that more individuals are choosing to do so in recognition of the fact that divorce represents a major transition from one phase of life to the next. Just as loved ones help to celebrate marriages, graduations, births and other major milestones in someone’s life, you may wish to have your loved ones help you celebrate this one.

Listen up, divorced parents!

Several days ago, we wrote about how to make your co-parenting relationship less stressful. However, it is also important to educate yourself on how to make life less stressful for your child in the wake of divorce. No matter how your child custody arrangements are constructed, if you have chosen to remain in your child’s life, there are a few things that you may benefit from considering if you want to make your child’s life even healthier and happier than it is now.

First, please understand that children need a certain degree of consistency in order to thrive. Of course, each child is different and therefore it is important to use your judgment when determining just how consistent your particular child’s life needs to be in order to be healthy. But in almost every case, children benefit dramatically from understanding what they can expect, from taking comfort in consistent approaches and from keeping a certain balance no matter which parent’s household they are present in.

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Avery & Upton
51 Monroe Street, Suite 701
Rockville MD 20850

Toll Free: 866-919-9723
Local: 301-576-0950
Fax: 301-762-8539
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