Common Pitfalls to Avoid During Rockville Divorce Proceedings

Common Pitfalls to Avoid During Rockville Divorce ProceedingsDivorce proceedings can be emotionally and financially taxing for all parties involved. Navigating the complexities of divorce requires careful consideration and strategic planning to avoid common pitfalls that can prolong the process and lead to unfavorable outcomes. Let’s explore some of the most common pitfalls to avoid during divorce proceedings in Rockville, MD.

Lack of preparation

One of the most significant pitfalls in Rockville divorce proceedings is a lack of preparation. You will need to gather all necessary documents, including financial records, property titles, and relevant correspondence, as you initiate the divorce process. Failing to do so can lead to delays and complications down the line, which can lead to you and your attorney spending valuable time and resources obtaining essential information that is usually easily available.

Collect the following information and documents for your divorce: marriage certificate, prenuptial agreement (if any), bank statements, property deeds, tax returns, and any other paperwork related to assets, debts, and income.

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Failure to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Many couples automatically assume that divorce must be resolved through contentious litigation. However, Maryland offers alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and collaborative divorce, often resulting in more amicable and cost-effective resolutions. Failing to consider these options can lead to prolonged court battles and increased animosity between parties.

Our Rockville family law attorneys can represent you during mediation to help you reach mutually agreeable solutions regarding child custody, support, and asset division. Managing partner Heather McCabe is also a certified mediator, which means we can prepare you for what to expect. Additionally, we can provide legal guidance and expertise throughout the mediation or arbitration process, ensuring that your rights and interests are fairly represented and protected.

Not understanding how marital property laws can affect your assets

The state of Maryland follows equitable distribution laws, which means that marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally between spouses. It’s essential for individuals to understand what constitutes marital property versus separate property and to accurately assess the value of assets and debts acquired during the marriage. Failing to do so can result in an unfair distribution of assets or unexpected financial obligations.

Our lawyers can help you determine separate versus marital property, protecting your best interests throughout the entire process.

Overlooking tax implications

Divorce can have significant tax implications, particularly concerning alimony, child support, and property division. You’ll need to consult with a tax professional or financial advisor to understand the tax consequences of various settlement options. Failing to consider these implications can lead to unexpected tax liabilities and financial hardships in the future.

Our Rockville divorce attorneys can collaborate with tax professionals to ensure that divorce agreements are structured in compliance with federal and state tax laws and regulations.

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Ignoring the best interests of children

The courts will prioritize the best interests of your children above all other things. Our job is to show the judge that your best interests ARE your children’s best interests, and that your goals are aligned. We do this by helping you develop a parenting plan that addresses  custody, visitation, and child support in a manner that promotes the well-being and stability of your children.

Note that both our founding partners are also certified Best Interest Attorneys. This may give our clients an advantage because we can speak to exactly what the court will want to see, and we know how to craft a case around that.

Assuming your experiences have no role to play in the outcome of your case

As of October 2023, there are only three grounds for divorce: mutual consent, irreconcilable differences, or six-month separation. While you can no longer cite adultery or cruelty as a reason to get divorced, these events can play a role in other aspects of the divorce. For example, if your ex was physically and/or verbally abusive, that can play a role in your child custody case. If your spouse spent household money on his or her affair, that could affect your alimony.

Neglecting to update estate planning documents

Divorce can have significant implications for estate planning. During a divorce, you need to review and update your estate planning documents to reflect your new marital status and wishes regarding the distribution of assets and property.

Wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations may still reflect arrangements made during the marriage, potentially and unintentionally leaving former spouses as beneficiaries or executors. Failing to revise these documents can lead to disputes among heirs and beneficiaries, delaying the distribution of assets and undermining the wishes of the divorcing parties. We can help you review and update your estate planning documents promptly to ensure they accurately reflect your current intentions and avoid unnecessary legal battles in the future.

Here at McCabe Russell, P.A., we are here to walk you through your divorce with ease and confidence. We work to ensure you don’t overlook anything and are well-prepared for the divorce process. To schedule an appointment or consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call our offices or fill out our contact form. We are proud to serve clients in Fulton, Bethesda, Rockville, and Columbia.