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DIVORCE

Planning for Divorce in the Event that Things Don't Work Out

Don't wait to seek legal advice. Although it is unpleasant to think about divorce, especially when you are trying to "work things out" with your spouse, the time to seek legal advice is at the first sign of trouble. At that point, you need to know your legal options in the event that things do not work out. 

Oftentimes people will come into our office seeking legal advice after they have learned that their spouse has drained bank accounts and made other moves while they were thinking that things were getting better in the relationship and when in reality things were not. Protect yourself and know your legal rights early on. And, most importantly, do not sign any agreements or contracts presented to you by or on behalf of your spouse during this time without speaking with a lawyer first!

In addition to knowing your rights in the event of divorce you need to know your children's rights. If you have minor children, it is important to know about the various types of custody and what factors the court generally considers in deciding custody. And, you need to know how the court determines child support and handles things such as the cost of childcare needed by a working custodial parent and how the court handles healthcare premium costs for the children and the cost of special educational or medical needs of minor children. Additionally, you need to know how custody may have  a bearing on a claim for use and possession of the family home in Maryland.

If domestic abuse exists, this further complicates the situation. Unfortunately, domestic violence is on the rise. Increasing financial and other societal pressures have had an impact on many modern families. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed to get help. If domestic violence is an issue and you are the victim, you need to know how to protect yourself and how to document what is going on. And, you need to know your legal options in this situation. Don't wait and don't delay getting help and advice if you are being abused. Attorney Darlene Wright Powell has represented many victims of domestic abuse.

In Maryland if you can prove to the court by clear and convincing evidence that you have been abused the court can order your spouse to vacate the premises and pay emergency family maintenance related to their ability to pay. In this situation, the court can issue a protective order to give you some relief while things are being sorted out in the marriage and while you are filing for a limited or absolute divorce and other relief in family court.

On the flip side, in some situations a person is actually wrongfully accused of domestic abuse by a spouse who is trying to get use and possession of the family home. Attorney Darlene Wright Powell is here to help you as well. If you are wrongfully accused of domestic abuse, you also need legal representation. A lawyer can assist in defending against wrongful charges which may have serious consequences. If you are accused of abuse, you may be facing both civil and criminal proceedings. And, your job may be affected by the outcome, particularly if you have a security clearance.