a. If you do not have any minor children, there is no wait to file for a divorce. If you and your spouse can reach a written settlement agreement resolving alimony and property issues, you no longer have to wait for one year to file for a divorce.
b. If you have minor children, you do have to wait for one year to file for a divorce. This means that you must live separate and apart (under a separate roof) for at least a year and one day before filing for divorce. There are exceptions including adultery and domestic violence.
a. Physical custody - Physical custody is defined as where the child or children will reside. The number of overnights the minor child or children spend with each parent determines physical custody.
b. Legal custody - Legal custody are the decisions the parties make regarding the health, education and welfare of the minor child or children. These are not day to day parenting decisions such as what the children will eat for dinner. These are decisions such as placing a child on medication, enrolling him or her in therapy, or placing a child in public or private school.
Child support is determined through a formula created by the court. The formula uses each parties' gross monthly income, work related child care costs, health insurance costs, extraordinary medical expenses, whether either party pays someone else child support or if one of the parties is paying/receiving alimony.
Marital property is anything that is earned during the marriage. What is hard for individuals to understand is that any income earned during the marriage is marital property. Regardless of property is titled, the point in which the funds are placed into this property determines whether it is marital. Here are examples of marital property:
a. The Martial Home - regardless of how titled
b. IRAs, Stocks, Bonds, 401Ks
c. A business, partnership, corporation
d. Household furniture and furnishings
e. Vehicles, boats, trailers, campers
The answer is maybe. Maryland is what is known as an Equitable Distribution state. That means that the court uses a list of factors to determine what is fair and equitable in the dividing of assets.
That also depends on the circumstances. If you both come into the marriage with student loans, you will both walk away responsible for it. If you purchase a house and there is a mortgage on the house, then that is a marital debt.
Alimony is not as simple as child support. While there are proposed formulas to use to calculate child support, the court uses several factors including the income of the parties, the age and health of the property, and the amount of any property settlement. Also, unlike child support, every case is different.