MAINTENANCE AND CHILD SUPPORT
CHILD SUPPORT AND CUSTODY OF MINOR CHILDREN
- Child support is mandatory in all actions involving minor children. Petitioners with minor children must include an order for child support, even if the other parent is unemployed or cannot be found.
- The child support payment amount is based on the incomes of both parents and the amount of time each parent spends with the children.
- The custody of child as recognized by the Law of Mary land maybe of four types of child
- Sole Physical Custody:
- In this type of custody the children shall remain with one parent, subject to the power of the court to approve the parent's plan for visitation rights granted to the other parent.
- Joint Physical Custody:
- In this type of Joint custody each of the parents shall have significant periods of physical custody.
- Sole Legal Custody
- In the sole legal custody one parent has the right and the responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of the children, subject of course to the visitation rights of the other parent.
- Joint Legal Custody
SPOUSAL SUPPORT (ALIMONY)
- Spousal support or the Alimony is given if the circumstances are such that a spouse will face hardships if he or she does not receive financial support after the divorce.
- The main factor in deciding the spousal support is the need to maintain the spouse at his or her customary standard of living.
- The other factors that may be taken to the consideration are
- the marriage was for a short duration (under two or three years), and
- both spouses are employed and self-sufficient.
The spousal support may run for an unlimited period, subject to the death or remarriage of the recipient spouse, or it can be fixed to terminate on a specific date.
Spousal support may be waived by the recipient spouse, but needs to be in writing signed by both spouses.
- In a proceeding for divorce both spouses are required to disclose information regarding their assets, liabilities, income and expenses to each other.
- In the case of a uncontested divorce the spouses may agree on the terms of the divorce without the need for a court and the agreement paper as to the their distribution of the property needs to be filed along with the divorce petition.
- For the purpose of property division one must find and value the property acquired during the marriage (equity in the house, value of pensions, value of antique furniture etc.).
- Then the separate property must be segregated from the marital property.
- Separate property is usually acquired before the marriage or outside the marriage, such as by gift or inheritance, or is excluded by a valid agreement.
The Factors to be consider before dividing the property:
- Length of the marriage.
- Age, health, skills, and abilities of the parties.
- Amount of separate property owned by each spouse.
- Relative ability of the parties to acquire property in the future.
- Financial needs and liabilities of the parties.
- Contribution to the education or to the earning power of the other.
- Contribution to the value of the marital property or the separate property.
- Premarital property and postmarital property.
- Financial conditions of each party.
- Tax consequences.
- Use and Possession. Allowing the custodian and children to continue to live in the home permanently or for a period of time (the Maryland statute permits up to three years following divorce);
- Other factors that the court considers appropriate.
- The division of property may also be done through an agreement after the court approval.