FAQ: Divorce and Alimony

  1. What are legal grounds for divorce in Maryland?
  2. What is the difference between limited and absolute divorce?
  3. What should I do if I believe my spouse is cheating?
  4. If my spouse and I agree to separate, what should we do?
  5. If I believe my spouse is hiding assets from me, what should I do?
  6. What happens if I leave our home?
  7. Does Maryland recognize common-law marriage?
  8. How can I get an annulment?
  9. What steps should I take before deciding to get a divorce?
  10. How much is my spouse entitled to if we get divorced?
  11. Should I get a prenuptial agreement?
  12. How do I know if assets are marital or non-marital?
  13. I received an inheritance. Will my spouse get part if we get divorced?
  14. What factors do courts consider when deciding on alimony?
  15. How long would I have to pay alimony?
  16. If my income or life situation changed, could my alimony obligation change?
  17. Why should I choose Trunnell Law to represent me in my domestic case?

1. What are legal grounds for divorce in Maryland?

There are numerous grounds for divorce in Maryland, the most common being one year separation without any co-habitation or sexual relations. Desertion, adultery, and cruelty of treatment are also grounds for divorce in Maryland.

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2. What is the difference between limited and absolute divorce?

An absolute divorce is what one would think of as a full and final divorce. A limited divorce is a divorce which allows you to seek certain remedies from your spouse, but does not allow you to remarry. There are time limits for most grounds of absolute divorce, but you can file a limited divorce shortly after the parties have separated.

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3. What should I do if I believe my spouse is cheating?

The first thing you should do is contact an attorney and discuss the issues with your attorney. Infidelity is a common reason for divorce, but even if you are not seeking divorce, it is important that you understand your rights. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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4. If my spouse and I agree to separate, what should we do?

The first thing you should do is contact a lawyer to make sure that all of your rights are being protected before you or your spouse move out of the house. While agreements between spouses can help resolve disputes, you should seek legal counsel before entering into any agreement with your spouse.

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5. If I believe my spouse is hiding assets from me, what should I do?

You should try to find and copy as much of his or her financial information as possible, including bank statements, stock reports, and other financial statements to bring to your lawyer. Then make an appointment to see your lawyer. An experienced domestic lawyer will know how to best protect your rights, even if your spouse is trying to hide things from you.

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6. What happens if I leave our home?

Prior to leaving your home it is important that you contact a lawyer to make sure that you are not giving up rights or making your case worse by leaving the home.

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7. Does Maryland recognize common-law marriage?

No, it does not.

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8. How can I get an annulment?

There are two types of annulment: one is a civil annulment, which is extremely hard to obtain unless your spouse was married when he or she married you or is in a state penitentiary for certain crimes. The second type of annulment is a religious annulment, which you may be able to get through your church.

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9. What steps should I take before deciding to get a divorce?

You should talk to an attorney. If you believe your marriage can be saved or if you have children you should see a counselor. You should always see a lawyer prior to making any major decisions regarding divorce. Also, if it is safe to do so, especially if there are children, you should consider seeing a marriage counselor.

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10. How much is my spouse entitled to if we get divorced?

There is no way to tell you what is going to happen in your divorce action until you meet with an experience domestic attorney. Once you see a lawyer and that lawyer is able to gather some information from you, the lawyer can let you know what you and your spouse are both entitled to in a divorce.

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11. Should I get a prenuptial agreement?

If you believe that you might be interested in a prenuptial agreement, it is important that you see a qualified lawyer in order to determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you.

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12. How do I know if assets are marital or non-marital?

The simple answer is that, normally, all assets acquired during the marriage, except those acquired through an inheritance or gift from a third party to only one of the spouses, is marital. In order to get a more definitive answer it is best you go to see an attorney.

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13. I received an inheritance. Will my spouse get part if we get divorced?

The general rule states that an inheritance given to one spouse is not a marital asset subject to equitable distribution upon divorce, although it depends on whether you comingled any of the inheritance with other marital assets.

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14. What factors do courts consider when deciding on alimony?

The court considers:

  • the ability of the person seeking alimony to be self-sufficient;
  • the time necessary for the person seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment;
  • the standard of living that the parties have established during their marriage;
  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well being of the family;
  • the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;
  • the age and physical/mental condition of each party;
  • the ability of the non receiving spouse to pay alimony;
  • any agreement of the parties, and;
  • all financial assets of the parties.

There are also a few other factors which normally do not affect an alimony case.

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15. How long would I have to pay alimony?

Most cases do not involve the payment of alimony. If you are concerned that you may have to pay alimony, it is very important that you talk to an attorney in order to determine whether a judge may award alimony in a case.

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16. If my income or life situation changed, could my alimony obligation change?

Absolutely. Depending on the type of alimony you receive or pay, the obligation can change. For example, if the court awards you alimony for an indefinite period of time, that can always change depending on the circumstances surrounding the award and the situation of the payer of alimony and the recipient.

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17. Why should I choose Trunnell Law to represent me in my domestic case?

The attorneys at Trunnell Law understand that the dissolution of a marriage can be an extremely difficult and stressful event for anyone. At Trunnell Law we pride ourselves in giving sound legal advice, while at the same time helping you personally overcome the obstacles and challenges of starting over. While we want to do what is best for you, we at Trunnell Law also believe that what is in the best interest for the children is paramount. We will counsel you as part of your domestic action to always do what is best for your children.

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