• How Should You Handle Debt During Your Divorce?

    You may already know that divorce mediation can resolve matters such as property division. But did you know that divorce mediation near Baltimore may also cover liability division? As your attorney can advise you, a person can be held liable for the debt of his or her former spouse, even if that debt was only listed under the spouse’s name. Before entering mediation, talk to your attorney about indemnity agreements, marital debt, and non-marital debt.

    As you’ll learn when you watch this video, an indemnity agreement can protect you from debt liability. This video also recommends taking some other steps prior to entering into mediation and finalizing your divorce, such as closing or freezing all accounts held jointly with your spouse.

    You may also wish to consult with an divorce attorney with experience regarding bankruptcy. Some spouses are known to enter into these indemnity agreements and then file bankruptcy.

  • When Is Mediation the Best Choice for Your Dispute?

    Alternative dispute resolution isn’t an option for all cases, such as those involving criminal charges. However, for many types of civil disputes, mediation may offer an ideal alternative to going to court. Consider talking to a lawyer about undergoing mediation near Anne Arundel County to resolve matters pertaining to divorce, marital assets, child custody, business disputes, and employment disputes.

    When You Need to Preserve a Relationship
    Disputes often arise between individuals who need to find a way to set aside their emotional differences and develop mutually agreeable solutions for the sake of preserving a working relationship. For instance, if you and your business partner have differences of opinion regarding the operation of the company, mediation may help both of you resolve these matters in an amicable fashion that allows for continuation of the partnership. If you are planning on dissolving the business, mediation is less costly resolution on how to wind down the company plus preserve the relationship if Alternative Dispute Resolution Near Anne Arundel County you ever need a referral or help from your partner in the future. Child custody cases can also benefit from mediation. By necessity, divorcing or separating individuals must continue to have a working relationship when they share children in common. It’s in the children’s best interests to see that their parents are working together cooperatively, both during and well after mediation. Additionally, mediation for child custody matters allows both parents to share their concerns for their kids and to get on the same page regarding childrearing decisions. Mediation can help begin rebuilding the relationship between Mom and Dad so that they can help raise their child into adulthood as well as present positive role model for him or her.

    When You Prefer to Retain Control Over the Outcome
    Lawyers who are well-versed in the mediation process often recommend this approach to clients who are hesitant to turn over full decision-making powers to a judge. When a matter goes to trial, an attorney can make prediction of what can happen, but he or she cannot guarantee. Also, rarely does a party walk out of court happy as judges like to do what he/she believes is fair.

    Mediation returns control back to the parties so that they can reach a settlement they are satisfied with and know they had a hand in reaching. It isn’t practical for an individual to expect that he or she will get everything he or she desires out of mediation, since successful mediation often does require both parties to make compromises.

    When the Parties Struggle with Negotiation
    Mediation can provide an ideal forum for negotiation, particularly when the involved parties have difficulty beginning their negotiations. A neutral mediator can also help the parties move forward from an impasse in negotiations. A mediator can help focus the parties on the impasse and help the parties recognize their common ground to move on. A mediator can also provide a neutral evaluation of the strength and weaknesses of each side should the matter go to trial as well as possible outcomes by the court. One example of helping parties move pass an impass is in the dissolution of a business. Courts do not want to determine who gets which desk and chair and will likely appoint a trustee to sell all the assets. In mediation, business partners can negotiate the division of company assets including the tangible assets such as computers, desks, and chairs, as well as intangible assets of who gets which clients, contracts, and intellectual property.

  • What Issues May Require Post-Divorce Modifications?

    Not all matters resolved by a court order may be modifiable. However, if your circumstances have changed and you believe a post-divorce modification is called for, it’s best to contact an attorney in Baltimore as soon as possible. Your lawyer could help you seek a change in child support, for example. If you’re receiving child support payments, you may need to ask for an increase in payments if your child develops a serious illness or otherwise requires significant care. If you’re paying child support, mediation may be called for to lower the payments if you’re dealing with job loss or other substantial changes in circumstance.

    Mediation for post-divorce modification could also address needed changes in alimony, or spousal support. If the Court awarded you alimony or ordered you to pay alimony, your alimony is subject to modification. If you entered into a written agreement for alimony, which was non-modifiable, you may still be able to modify your alimony if the other party is willing to agree. For example, if a payor has lost a job, the receiving spouse may agree to temporary reduction in exchange that the alimony will be paid later. The reason he or she may do this is to avoid the unnecessary emotional and financial costs of litigation.

    Talk to an attorney about mediation services if you have reason to believe that the child custody arrangement ought to be modified. For instance, if you are currently the non-custodial parent, you might request custody of the child if the other parent is engaging in substance abuse, has been arrested, or has been neglecting the child. You may also wish to revisit the parenting plan and custodial arrangements due to the age of the child, the distance between the parents’ residences, and the need of co-parenting for help related to the extra-curricular activities of the child.

    Attorney in Baltimore

  • Answering Common Questions About Estate Planning

    Estate planning involves so much more than just drafting and executing your Last Will and Testament. An estate planning attorney near Baltimore can guide you through each aspect that applies to your situation. He or she can also offer legal guidance regarding minimizing tax obligations to maximize the assets bequeathed to your beneficiaries. Before you consult an estate planning attorney , you may wish to write out a list of any questions you may have.

    Do Wills Have Limitations?
    There are certain actions that a Will cannot accomplish. It cannot transfer non-probate property. This includes jointly owned cars, jointly owned bank accounts, bank accounts with payable of death designation, life insurance, annuities, retirement benefits, and trusts. For example, if you own a home jointly with your spouse as tenants by the entireties or partner or family member as joint tenants, the full ownership of the home will pass to that person upon your death. Estate Planning Attorney in Baltimore If you have an IRA that is payable to a designated beneficiary, this beneficiary will receive the account, rather than a different individual specified by your will. If you would like to change your designated beneficiaries, you can do so directly on those documents, rather than with your Will. And if you write in your Will that you want that beneficiary to split the proceeds of the IRA, Bank Account, or Life Insurance policy, there is no legal requirement he/she will split that asset with any other person.

    What Should I Know About Life Insurance?
    When you discuss estate planning with an attorney in Glen Burnie, be sure to inform him or her of any life insurance policies you may have. You have two basic options for your life insurance policies . You can designate one or more beneficiaries, or you can make your life insurance benefits payable to a trust or probate estate. Making these benefits payable to a trust can protect these assets from creditors. You should seek the advice of an attorney to determine the proper way to designate the trust as beneficiary. If the benefits are payable to your estate, the funds will be distributed in accordance with your will and will increase probate fees and personal representative commissions.

    What Is a Healthcare Proxy?
    A healthcare proxy is often referred to as an Advance Medical Directive. You can designate a person to have the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. This person can only make these decisions if you are incapacitated and cannot express your own preferences. These decisions may be necessary not just life ending situations, but also in routine medical situations including surgery. Before you designate a healthcare proxy, you should consult that individual to ensure that he or she feels capable of executing your wishes.