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FAMILY LAW

THE BURTON FIRM > FAMILY LAW

QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATION ORDERS (QDROs)

Maryland Family Law Attorney Explains Qualified Domestic Relation Orders   What is a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relation Order) During divorce, assets, properties and debts are divided between the two parties. It can be quite complicated to separate two lives that have been entangled for multiple years, even more so for relationships that lasted decades. Besides physical property and basic finances, many assets may be on the table for sharing or forfeiting when spouses divorce. Additional assets that may be involved in a divorce is a pension or retirement plan. The state of Maryland permits retirement assets to be transferred from one spouse to...

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FAMILY LAW MEDIATION

Family law mediation is mediation for disputes in actions for divorce, annulment, establishment of paternity, child custody or visitation, and child or spousal support. Mediation is a process in which the parties appear before an impartial third party who does not have authority to adjudicate (make a formal decision) the dispute; however, by applying mediation techniques generally accepted within the professional mediation community, assists the parties by identifying the issues and interests of both parties, exploring settlement alternatives, and fashioning the basis of an agreement. Mediation can be very beneficial to both parties, especial if any children are involved because it promotes...

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PROVING PATERNITY

It is important to establish a child’s father for many reasons. It compels the father to assist in the child’s financial support and it also determines if the child has any rights to inherit from his or her alleged father when the father dies. If the father openly admits that the child is his, then establishing paternity is not an issue. If the man disputes paternity, then a paternity lawsuit must be filed to prove that he is indeed the child’s father. Proving paternity used to be established through circumstantial evidence, such as proof that the couple had...

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SHOULD I GET A PREMARITAL AGREEMENT?

Maryland Family Law Attorney Discusses Use of Premarital Agreements The world we live in currently is in stark contrast to the one our parents grew up in, and one of the biggest changes in American society has been scene in the institution of marriage. Less people are getting married, those marriages aren’t lasting as long, and the divorce rate has skyrocketed. In this age of divorce, a formerly obscure legal document, the premarital (prenuptial) agreement, has come into almost standard use. What Is a Premarital Agreement? Is It Different from a Prenup? Prenuptial agreement, premarital agreement and prenup all mean the same thing....

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How & Why to Establish Paternity

Family Lawyer in Maryland Discusses How and Why to Establish Paternity Its that subject that many of us don’t want to talk about, let alone think about – what will happen when we pass away? Many people don’t understand that father’s of children are often times not automatically assigned paternity following the birth of their child. Even having your name put on the birth certificate at the hospital does not guarantee that your paternity will be established. What Is Paternity? Paternity is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “the state of being someone’s father”. This seems simple enough, but what does father really mean? Does...

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Parental Alienation Signs and Symptoms

Maryland Family Law Lawyer Explains Parental Alienation Signs and Symptoms When a couple is going through a divorce or separation, the entire family is affected and those affects can be lasting and significant. Children are often times the most affected because they have not had the years of experience that it takes to understand and deal with emotional trauma. In the same way that their young minds are more susceptible to emotional stress, they are also far more susceptible to manipulation. Parental Alienation is the process, and the result, of the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or...

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Void & Voidable Marriages

Waldorf Divorce Attorney Helps With Voidable Marriages in the State of Maryland Determining if your marriage is void or voidable will help you determine whether you might get an annulment instead of an actual divorce. Which marriages are void and which marriages are voidable? A void marriage is a marriage that is void from the its outset, as it never existed. Any marriage that (1) Bigamy - at the time of marriage either party was already lawfully married, (2) Incest - he parties are close family relatives which prohibits the marriage is considered void from its outset. Voidable marriage are marriage that can...

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MEDIATION

Mediation is an alternative process to solve family disputes that does not require court involvement. It involves using a neutral third party, the mediator, who will facilitate and assist the parties in coming with their resolution to mutually satisfy all parties. The role of a mediator includes facilitating communication between the parties, assisting in identifying the real issues of the dispute and the parties’ interests, and generating options for settlement. Most people have the ability to solve their own disputes but it’s important to hire a mediator to help facilitate the discussion. Make sure to consult with an experienced Family Law attorney...

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Divorce & College Financial Aid

Divorce or separation can make many things in life complicated, even many years later. If you have children preparing to go to college, it’s important to understand how divorce may affect your child’s college financial aid. The parent with whom the child resides primarily should be the one to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The non-custodial parent’s income is irrelevant for financial aid purposes and if the child lives with both parents equally, then the parent that has spent the most money on the child’s care would be the one to fill out...

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Child Support – Deviation from Guidelines

According to federal law, every state must use a standardized approach to establish child support order amounts and guidelines. Maryland has adopted an “income-shares” model child support guidelines which is calculated based on parents’ income rather than the children’s expenses. The child support is then apportioned between the parents but keep in mind the court may deviate from the guidelines amount if it would be unjust or inappropriate. There are other factors such as health insurance, medical expenses, private school, alimony, etc that are considered when determining the amount. An issue sometimes arises when a parent (or both parents)...

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