Avoiding Bad Divorce Settlements

You probably already know that the vast majority of family law issues are settled before trial. Sometimes that is a fairly quick process when the issues or assets are limited, and on the other hand, it could be a multi-year process assisted by attorneys, mediators, financial advisors, accountants, and other professionals.

It is quite common for one or both of the spouses to wonder if they reached the elusive “good deal.”  It is also common to have regrets, whether well-founded or simply “buyer’s remorse.” However, it is extremely difficult and unlikely to have an agreement set aside.

Here are my suggestions and traps for the unwary:

  1. You are entitled to information about your spouse’s assets, but the time to pursue that is before you sign the agreement. If you choose to skip that part, you may end up regretting it!
  2. Many people forget to address gains and losses for retirement accounts between the valuation date and the date the account is actually segregated. Be sure you understand how this will be addressed.
  3. Remember that provisions regarding children (child support, custody, visitation) can always be modified by the court if it is warranted. The court is always the last word when children are involved.
  4. Typically, your agreement is final once signed, even if you aren’t divorced yet. Take your time and carefully consider the provisions.
  5. ALWAYS talk to an attorney experienced in family law before signing an agreement!

For more information on family law, please contact Heather L. Sunderman at (301) 664-7710 or hlsunderman@mirskylawgroup.com.

 Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.

What Will 2017 Bring to Family Law?

As with other areas of the law, family law is regularly changing to keep up with new developments in families’ needs. The trend in the last few years in family law is to streamline and simplify the grounds for divorce.

When I first began practicing law in Maryland, there was a two year waiting period of continuous separation before filing a divorce if you and your spouse didn’t agree to separate. On top of that, it is not unusual for the divorce to take a year to be final if the parties didn’t agree on the financial issues of the divorce. In the last few years, that waiting period was reduced to one year, and there has even been a new mutual consent ground for divorce which does not require separation. (Other conditions apply, of course!)

New this year is the removal of the requirement for corroboration of the grounds for divorce. In the past, even amicable divorcing couples had to be sure to bring someone to court with them who also had knowledge of the grounds for divorce, whether it was separation, adultery, etc. It required another adult to make themselves available, take time off work and to publicly state details of the couples’ private life.

What will 2017 bring? Possibly an expansion of the mutual consent divorce availability, stay tuned for updates from Maryland’s General Assembly.   – Heather L. Sunderman

For more information on Family Law, please contact Heather L. Sunderman at (301) 664-7710 or hlsunderman@mirskylawgroup.com.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.

 

What is Therapeutic Visitation?

You may have heard reports about the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie divorce and custody case. News sources have reported about domestic violence allegations against Brad Pitt. And it appears that the parties’ negotiated agreement includes therapeutic visitation for Pitt. Therapeutic visitation can be ordered when there is estrangement or alienation between the child and a parent. There are many different reasons why this can happen: parental interference, abuse or other mental health issues which cause the child to refuse visitation. The child may be justified in his mistrust, or may have had an unreasonable reaction to a parent. Regardless of parental fault, the courts must deal with the situation as it is, and attempts to repair the broken relationship must be made. Visitation sessions may then take place with a mental health professional. These are very difficult situations and typically would require counsel for both parents and navigating the reunification process. The cost can also be substantial as the court may be scheduling intermittent hearings during this process as well as the cost of having an expert mental health professional working with the family. The court may also order psychological examinations of the parents and/or child in these cases.

-Heather L. Sunderman, Esq.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by state and jurisdiction. The information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel. Your use of the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mirsky Law Group, LLC.