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Bowie Maryland Legal Blog

Is your spouse acting suspiciously about finances?

Maryland residents like you who are getting a divorce will need to keep an eye on your finances, especially if you have a high number of assets. This is because a spouse may be tricking you in order to hide assets so they don't have to give you an equal share.

Forbes discusses why it is so important to keep a close eye on your assets during divorce. Sometimes, a spouse may take advantage of the fact that you have a lot of assets to keep track of by trying to hide some without you noticing. This is illegal, but that just means some people may use crafty tactics to get around the law.

Maryland woman's medical malpractice verdict "largest in history"

Reports indicate that a recent medical malpractice award considerably outstrips what a Maryland woman initially sought for a 2014 birth injury that allegedly caused her daughter to develop a debilitating chronic condition. Reduced from $229 million by a state malpractice cap, the $205 million judgment is nevertheless the largest in U.S. history, according to attorneys. The court approved the award in July, and a judge in Baltimore recently upheld it. 

The woman's daughter is now 5 years old and requires around-the-clock care due to cerebral palsy allegedly resulting from lack of oxygen during childbirth. Her attorney claims that the woman declined a cesarean section on the basis of erroneous information from the hospital staff that her baby could not live outside the womb. For their part, medical staff reportedly stopped monitoring the baby's condition perinatally. 

Consider mediation as a peaceful method of divorce

Difficult as the decision was to make, you and your spouse have determined that your marriage is over and it is time to move on with your lives. Whether this is an amicable breakup or one of you is feeling devastated, you may hope to avoid making the situation even worse by going through a long, contentious court battle.

Fortunately, this is not always necessary. With various forms of alternative dispute resolution becoming more popular among divorcing couples, you may find that you and your spouse can reach agreeable terms without going to court. One method of alternative dispute resolution is mediation, which has many advantages for couples who can make it work.

Property division includes debts as well as assets

Couples who make the tough choice to end their marriages know that the road ahead can be challenging. If you and your spouse in Maryland are in this position, it will be important for you to know how to advocate for your rights through every step of the process. A lot of attention in a divorce can be placed on who will get what asset. This may be a house, a vacation home, a boat, a retirement plan or something else. However, it is equally important for you to educate yourself on how debts may be split.

As explained by SoFi, you should not rely on your divorce decree to do all of the work in dividing your debts. This is because any creditor is bound by the terms of the credit agreement, not by your divorce degree. For example, if your spouse is supposed to make the mortgage payments but they fail to do so, the bank may contact you for payment if your joint home loan is still in effect.

Red light running and traffic deaths

People in Maryland face a seemingly unending list of dangers when they take to the road. Whether in a passenger vehicle, on a motorcycle or bicycle, or on foot, the risks posed to them by other drivers are everywhere and they are real. Public awareness campaigns, driver education training and more all attempt to inform people about the importance of operating their vehicles safely yet too many choose to continue to drive drunk, text when behind the wheel and more.

A new study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety took a look at the impact running red lights has made on accident fatalities in the United States. Overall, it was found that deaths in vehicle crashes attributed to at least one driver in the crash running a red light jumped by a dramatic 28% in the last seven years. More than 939 lives were lost in 2017 alone due to red light runners across the U.S.

Primary causes of prescription drug mistakes

Upon hearing the term "medical error" or "medical malpractice", many people's minds think about things like an instrument being left inside a patient's body after a surgery or not having a serious condition properly diagnosed. These are some examples of errors that can result in harm or even death to patients in Maryland but there are many other types as well. Several people may experience problems relating to medications that they are prescribed by doctors.

Becker's Hospital Review reported on the results of a study that outlined the top 10 causes of harm or death to patients related to prescription medications. Interestingly, the number one cause on the list was not even about a drug. Over 37% of people experienced an error due to a delay in the prescription being issued or filled or to the prescription being forgotten altogether. Being given a drug that the person is allergic to or that negatively interacts with another medication were other causes on the list. Being given a high dose at the outset and then tapering the amount was also found to be connected to many problems.

Establishing a routine when your kids go back to school

Co-parenting is rarely easy, no matter the time of year. We at the law offices of Reinstein, Glackin & Herriott, LLC, know that with school starting, you and other divorced parents in Maryland will need to get used to new routines and schedules. This can present challenges and conflict if you and your ex are not on the same parenting page.

According to HelpGuide, children thrive on reliable structure and routine, especially if their parents are divorced. The stress of changing schedules at the beginning of summer or the start of a new school year can be confusing and upsetting for your children. How can I maintain consistency if my ex does things differently, you may wonder? The following suggestions may help:

  • At the start of the school year, explain your rules and expectations to your children regarding homework, chores, bedtime and other things.
  • Keep a consistent routine that your children will become familiar with even if your ex’s routine is not the same.
  • Avoid getting angry at your ex in front of the children.
  • Accept that you and your ex may have differences in parenting styles and you do not necessarily have to be on the same page.
  • Keep the lines of communication open with your ex.

Do I have to pay my spouse's student loans in a divorce?

Student loans have become almost essential for many people attending college today. There is a large number of Maryland residents who must make student loan payments for several years after graduating. Some people even continue paying student loan debt for decades if they have gone on to graduate school or professional school, like medical or law school. It is also not unusual for a person to be married and still take out student loans to pay for these degrees. Your spouse may be one of these people.

If you and your spouse have made the choice to get divorced but they still owe money in student loan debt, you will want to understand whether or not that debt could become yours after the divorce is final. According to Saving for College, there are some situations in which student loan debt can be considered marital property. One big factor in determining this is when your spouse took out the loan or loans.

Collaborative law offers a more peaceful divorce

If you and your spouse are contemplating ending your marriage, you may be hesitating because you dread the thought of a contentious legal battle. It may surprise you to know that many family law attorneys have felt the same way, so they began developing more peaceful methods of divorce during which couples can come to civil agreements about their issues.

One of those methods of alternative dispute resolution is collaborative law. You and your spouse may agree that a collaborative process may help you reach your goals with far less acrimony and stress than a traditional, litigated divorce. Understanding how the collaborative method works is the first step to determining whether it is appropriate for your situation.

Are active-duty service members protected in child custody cases?

Service members are well-respected throughout the United States. However, the military is an especially difficult line of work because of the possibility of deployment. During a deployment, a service member lives away from their spouse and children, which could create tension and stress in their marriage. In some cases, it even leads to divorce.

Deployment complicates child custody and visitation agreements for many families. The number of military families continues to increase. If their marriage doesn’t work out as planned, these families face complicated child custody battles and cases.

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