Everyone has something to protect in a divorce, and I have yet to meet a client who doesn’t feel relief when the process is over. Many of those clients, however, are surprised when an issue they thought they resolved for good resurfaces later.
In Maryland, the reality is that some issues can never be permanently resolved in an initial divorce proceeding, while others are always resolved in the first case.
Maryland’s new Augmented Estate Law was created to enable a surviving spouse, who was not adequately provided for by his/her deceased spouse, to elect to receive a share of substantially more of the deceased spouse’s assets than ever before.
But, it has the major, and perhaps unintended, consequence of affecting some estate plans and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements already in place.
The short answer is: it depends.
Obtaining a divorce in a short marriage with no children and few, if any, assets is very different than a long marriage with children and assets. Then there are marriages in between the short marriage and the long marriage with combinations of no children or children and a variety of assets.
A logical first step is to contact a lawyer.
Divorce attorney Casey Florance discusses what to expect when you make that first call to set up a meeting with a divorce attorney, including:
I hear some version of this question from new clients all the time, and the common assumption is the separation clock has to be ticking before you hire an attorney and before you start negotiating a settlement agreement.
But that’s not the case.
To be eligible to file with the Court for an absolute divorce in Maryland, you must have a ground for divorce at the moment you file.