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Bowie Legal Issues Blog

A new way out of marriage in Maryland: mutual consent divorce

In a recent law that was enacted in Maryland, couples seeking to dissolve their marriage now have a quicker option: mutual consent divorce. Under the terms of this amendment, couples have an easier way of divorcing amicably without extended waiting periods.

Under the previous law, divorce could be a fast process for marriages in which one spouse committed serious offenses—such as adultery, cruel treatment, or excessively vicious conduct—against their partner. Understandably, the court determined that a spouse in a potentially dangerous partnership should be able to dissolve their marriage as quickly as possible.

How do I pay child support in Maryland?

If you've been ordered to pay child support in Maryland, here are the basic steps for submitting payment:

If you're employed

If you are employed, Maryland law requires you to pay child support through wage garnishment. This is to say that the amount you owe for child support will automatically be deducted from your paycheck and redirected to your child's custodian.

3 crucial steps to take before divorcing in January of 2018

If you are planning to file for divorce as soon as 2018 hits, you are not alone. According to Time Magazine, January is one of the most common months for people to split up. If you are dead-set on making 2018 the year you become single again, you should do some preparing before you officially announce your divorce. 

Divorce can be expensive, and the costs can blindside you if you jump into it without preparation. Here are some things you should accomplish before you tell your spouse you want out. 

Three things you should know about same-sex divorce in Maryland

Since 2013, Maryland has proudly held the title of the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. With it has come the less illustrious—but nonetheless important—legalization of same-sex divorce, which allows for divorce between same-sex couples on the same grounds as it does for heterosexual couples.

However, the laws surrounding divorce in Maryland have not been amended to encompass circumstances unique to same-sex marriage. Consequently, same-sex couples seeking to dissolve their marriage will encounter a few roadblocks:

Could your drinking water be making you sick?

In a recently published report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a two-year study (from 2013 to 2014) on the drinking water in 19 U.S. states—including Maryland. The results of the study identified 42 outbreaks of waterborne diseases in drinking water, from which at least 1,006 people became ill, 124 were hospitalized and 13 died.

The most severe disease identified in the study was Legionnaires’ Disease, which accounted for over half of the outbreaks, 88 percent of the hospitalizations and all of the deaths. In Maryland, the CDC found five outbreaks of waterborne disease during this period—four of Legionnaires’ Disease and one of Nitrite.

Ways to prepare for a custody evaluation

If you are embroiled in a custody dispute with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, or the other parent of your child, the prospect of dealing with a custody evaluator probably is not welcoming. Custody evaluators are essentially investigators appointed by court or mutually agreed upon by the parties to review a number of aspects of the child’s life and issue a recommendation to the court regarding legal custody, physical custody and parenting time.

For any parent, the notion of being judged can be a very emotional experience. This is especially true if a parent has shortcomings they may not want a custody evaluator to discover (i.e. alcohol use, drug abuse). However, a custody evaluation is about what is best for the child, not about who presumably has the better parenting skills.

Keeping children safe during winter drives

As the weather begins to cool down, it's a good time to prepare your vehicle for the eventual winter wonderland. The approaching holiday season comes with family vacations, parties and visits with relatives, meaning more time driving with your loved ones.

Unfortunately, winter's slippery conditions put traveling families at a higher risk for traffic accidents. You can follow car seat laws and guidelines to help keep your children safe.

Driving hazards during the fall and how to avoid them

With October drawing to a close, you probably have noticed a change in our region. Indeed, leaves are changing, and the air seems cooler, especially in the morning. Also, the days are shorter and this means that we will all have to adjust, since daylight savings time expires this weekend.  

With the change in conditions, drivers will have to change their habits as fall driving hazards are markedly different from those in the summer.  

3 essential steps to take if you get hit by a car on your bicycle

When you ride your bike, you feel alive, accomplished and healthy. Your bicycle is an effective method of transportation and exercise that promotes your health and benefits the environment. Unfortunately, you are probably going to crash in one way or another–or even worse, get hit by a vehicle. 

If you get hit by a passenger car or a larger vehicle like a commercial truck or bus, you will suffer more injuries than any driver. Your bike and helmet only offer you so much protection. But how do you react when you get into a biking accident? It is crucial for you to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Here are the steps you should take after you get hit on your bike. 

Resolving parenting time disputes, revisited

Halloween will be here sooner than you think. If you have become numb from seeing Halloween decorations and costumes since Labor Day, chances are that your children have not. Nevertheless annual night of haunts and delights should be a night to remember for your kids, but it may not be remembered for the right reasons if you and your ex cannot decide on who will take them trick-or-treating.

There are a number of situations where parents may try to stick to their guns and keep a child from spending time with the other parent because of a quirk in their schedule or because Halloween falls on their day for parenting time. While this may be so, holidays are about allowing children to spend time with both parents. With the holiday season upcoming, parents should get used to this theme. 

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