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Steven T. Greenblat, Esq.
10 Deckman Ct.
Silver Spring, MD 20906
Phone: 301-233-3477
Fax: 301-460-1373

Divorce Topics

Divorce | Property Division | Alimony

DIVORCE

An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties have agreed to all the issues. It normally can be completed in three to four months. A contested divorce is one in which the issues related to child custody, support and visitation and/or the division of marital property must be resolved. It is impossible to predict the total cost of a contested divorce. It becomes contingent on the complexity of the issues, the property value and the income of the parties Sometimes appraisals and economic evaluations become necessary. In custody disputes, there is often the additional costs of psychological, educational and medical evaluations for both the children and the parents.

PROPERTY DIVISION

In Maryland, any property acquired by one or both parties during the marriage is marital property. This means that property acquired up to the date of the Divorce is marital and can be claimed by both parties. Marital property can consist of tangible personal items, real property, pensions, professional business practices, ownership in stock or other corporate interests, vacation and insurance benefits, all of which must be valued and divided. Marital property does not include property obtained prior to the marriage or property received by inheritance, or by gift from a third party. In a Divorce, the marital property must be ascertained and then appraised for its fair market value. Once this is done, the Court will try to divide the property equitably between the parties. This could mean that a monetary award is granted to one of the parties to help balance an unfair distribution of the assets. In determining how to divide marital debt, there is a balancing of the equities in much the same way as with marital assets.

ALIMONY

Alimony is available to a spouse who needs financial assistance from the other spouse in order to meet his or her living expenses, and often, the living expenses of the parties' children. It is often applicable when one spouse was responsible for the care of the household and children while the other spouse earned all or most of the family income. When parties separate under these circumstances, the Court may award alimony for a period of time calculated to allow the non-working spouse to establish an independent source of income. In some circumstances alimony can be awarded permanently. Alimony is treated as income to the spouse receiving it, and as a tax deduction for the one paying it.