Dividing Property in Divorce: What’s Separate & What’s Marital?

In a divorce, dividing up property is much more complicated than figuring out who gets to keep the good china and who takes the comfy recliner. There are many factors to consider, including who purchased the property, when it was purchased, and whether the other spouse contributed to the upkeep of said property. Property in a divorce falls into two main categories: Separate and marital. What is the difference between separate property and marital property? Separate property is property that either was acquired prior to the marriage, after the date of separation, or property that is exempted from being considered…

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5 Tips for Navigating Holidays for Blended Families

The holidays are full of wonderful things – gifts, good food, carols, nights by the fire, and family time. But the desire to have that “perfect” holiday season can cause a great deal of stress for parents, especially those with blended families. Here are 5 things to remember when navigating a holiday season that’s full of step relatives, parenting time changes, and potential conflict: Plan Ahead You can’t possibly do everything you want to do in a holiday season, even under ideal household conditions. But planning becomes even more important when you have to navigate multiple households and changes of…

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Easing Tension During Divorce: 5 Key Tips

In the midst of a divorce, even the easiest of conversations with your ex can be fraught with tension. The person who was once your closest ally has become a potential enemy, sometimes opposing your ideas just because. Every conversation doesn’t have to involve a huge emotional expenditure. Here are 5 key tips for helping to decrease stress during a divorce: Keep Communications To Email or Text Though communicating in person or over the phone is considered best, when in the midst of a contentious divorce it may be best to take a step back and use less personal forms…

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Easing Tension During Divorce: 5 Key Tips

In the midst of a divorce, even the easiest of conversations with your ex can be fraught with tension. The person who was once your closest ally has become a potential enemy, sometimes opposing your ideas just because. Every conversation doesn’t have to involve a huge emotional expenditure. Here are 5 key tips for helping to decrease stress during a divorce: Keep Communications To Email or Text Though communicating in person or over the phone is considered best, when in the midst of a contentious divorce it may be best to take a step back and use less personal forms…

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Marital vs. Non-Marital Debt: Who Owes What?

You and your spouse have come to the conclusion that it’s time to go your separate ways and file for divorce. You’ve figured out who gets the cars, the house, the furniture, even the blender someone bought you for your wedding. But when it comes to debts, how do you split those? Debt Incurred Before Marriage In Maryland, debts incurred prior to a marriage are not considered marital debt. Md. Code Ann., Family Law, §4-301. That means your spouse’s car payment, credit card debt, or student loans that were taken out prior to your marriage **will not** be your responsibility…

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Tips for Telling School-Aged Children About Divorce

You and your spouse have come to the conclusion that it is time to end your marriage. There are many decisions that must be made and details to be ironed out. Visitation schedules, decision-making responsibilities, and division of marital assets must all be determined. But perhaps chief in your minds at the early stages of a divorce is when to tell your school-aged children. The change will affect them greatly and, once they know, their lives will never be the same. Though there’s no secret formula that can make telling your children easy or perfect, there are a few things…

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The Monster in the Closet- Alcohol Dependent Spouses

Marriages are often faced with many challenges. From figuring out how to manage money and how many children to have, to who is going to do the dishes, we have all experienced them. Some challenges may be obvious, but some may be so cleverly disguised or hidden. It is stated that nearly 17 million adults in the United States have alcohol-related problems. “Alcohol remains the number-one drug problem in the United States.” [1] With this kind of shocking statistic, it is not uncommon to see marriages affected and divorces finalized as a result. You may be wondering how to determine…

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Co-Parenting: There’s an App for That?

Communicating with your ex-spouse during or after a divorce can cause a lot of hostility and unneeded frustration for you and your children. You may be wondering how you are going to parent your children together when just seeing your ex-spouse causes your heart to race and blood to boil. Thankfully we live in the 21st century and technology is more sophisticated than ever before. With many online resources for separated parents, co-parenting with your ex-spouse has never been easier. The increased demand for technology that makes parenting with an ex easier has led to a development in a number…

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It’s Their Way or the Highway: Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

You have heard it one too many times. You have dealt with their selfish comments, their inability to apologize and their abusive, harsh words. It makes parenting so much harder than it needs to be. When narcissism takes over, simple conversations can become unbearable and non-productive. Co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse may be one of the most difficult things you have to go through, but you must rise above it. The first step to understanding how to co-parent with a narcissistic ex-spouse is to recognize the symptoms. “Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness.” [1]…

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The Hidden Disease of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can be very prevalent in homes of divorce or struggling families. Some might say it is like a hidden disease, that if not treated properly, will consume everyone involved. A parent may not even recognize they are falling victim to this until it is too late. By that time, the child’s view of the alienated parent has already been distorted beyond repair. Parental alienation is the use of psychological manipulation of a child to damage his or her view of the other parent. Often times this is due to one parent’s inability to separate conflict in the marriage…

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