The Benefits of Mediation in Child Custody Disputes

During a divorce, child custody is a particularly contentious issue. Clashes over custody can do lasting damage to the relationships between parents and children, especially when coming to an agreement involves nasty courtroom battles. Mediation offers an alternative that can be easier on families. Talk to a mediation lawyer in Baltimore if you are facing a child custody dispute to see if you could come to an agreement outside of the courtroom that works for your family. Here are some of the benefits to choosing mediation in your custody dispute. family - mediation

Less Stress for Parents

Mediation is not adversarial, as disputes decided in the courtroom can be. The goal of mediation is for all parties to work together to come up with a solution that is right for everyone. There are no winner or losers in mediation, so the overall process is less overwhelming. A third-party representative will guide the mediation process and ensure that no one’s rights are violated, so you can focus on making an agreement instead of being on guard.

Less Stress for Kids

When parents are locked in a custody dispute, their animosity almost inevitably encroaches on their children’s well-being, even despite the best intentions. Kids may feel pressured to choose sides or may hear one parent talking disparagingly about the other parent, causing confusion and fear. Because mediation is easier on parents, it is also easier on kids. They may also get an outcome that is better for them, since the focus of everyone in mediation is to make a plan that is right for the children.

Improved Long-Term Cooperation

Mediation helps to set the tone for what the new normal will look like after a divorce. When parents cooperate during mediation and come up with a child custody plan they both feel good about, they walk away feeling encouraged about their abilities to co-parent even after divorce. This kind of cooperation sets the stage for future issues to be negotiated collaboratively rather than in an adversarial manner.

Estate Planning Questions to Ask Your Attorney

When you hire an estate planning attorney in Baltimore , it is important to ask the right questions so you can make the best choices for yourself and your heirs. There are many different things to consider when make an estate plan, so it can helpful to prepare your questions in advance so that you don’t overlook anything. Consider adding these questions to your list for your meeting. estate - planning

What kind of experience do you have?

Estate law can be extremely complex, and it changes frequently. It is important to hire an estate lawyer with experience in the field, rather than an attorney who is simply willing to make a plan for you. The advice and information you get from an experienced attorney is invaluable, and by working with an experienced estate lawyer, you can feel better about the decisions you’re making and how they will impact your heirs.

Can you help me with a trust?

Not all estate planning attorneys are willing or able to help you establish a revocable or irrevocable trust, so if this is one of your goals, ask your prospective attorney up front if he or she can manage your request. There are many advantages to setting up a trust and using it in place of a will for some families, so ideally, your attorney will help you decide if a trust is right for you and assist you in setting it up.

Is it possible to avoid probate?

Many people who are making plans for their estate wish to avoid probate for their heirs if it is possible. Going through probate is time-consuming and costly, and can cause conflict within the surviving family members. Ideally, an estate planning attorney can guide you towards options, like trusts, that can limit the probate process. If it isn’t possible to avoid probate, ask your attorney if he or she will be available to guide your heirs through the process.

A Look at the Estate Tax

During the estate planning process, it is important to consider the implications of estate taxes. If you have a sizable estate, estate taxes can command a significant portion of your assets. Fortunately, an estate lawyer in Baltimore can help you plan to reduce or avoid the burden of estate tax on your beneficiaries.

Watch this video to learn more about the estate tax. This tax is levied on an estate that exceeds that year’s benchmark at the rate that is in effect that the person’s time of death. These rates are changed frequently by the government. Through careful estate planning, you can distribute your estate in your will in a way that protects your loved ones from this tax and preserves your resources.

Estate Planning for Domestic Partners

For couples who choose domestic partnerships over marriage, protecting legal rights is essential. While married couples enjoy certain privileges under the law, domestic partners are not always afforded the same rights. By working with an estate lawyer in Baltimore with experience with domestic partnerships, you can make plans for your estate and feel confident that your loved ones will be protected after your death.

For domestic partners, the law does not assume that your surviving partner is your intended heir in the same way it does for married couples. This distinction could cause issues for your estate in the probate process, as well as uncomfortable family disputes. By drawing up estate planning documents, you can ensure your estate is administered as you intend. With the help of an estate lawyer, you and your partner can draw up individual wills and various trusts to make your final intentions clear. It is also possible to create trusts that benefit your partner while maintaining your privacy. Consult with an estate lawyer to determine the best estate planning procedures for your specific case.

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