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Gaithersburg Family Law Blog

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Is it possible to avoid paying alimony?

You want to get divorced, but you don't want to pay alimony. You see no reason you should have to support your ex after the two of you aren't even a couple anymore.

But can you get out of it? There are some ways that people do it, but they may not all work in your situation.

After your divorce, you may need to modify your support levels

Many people seem to think that the terms of a divorce are essentially written in stone once a judge signs a divorce decree. To a certain extent, this is accurate. Issues like asset division only end up revisited in extreme situations, possibly involving hidden assets or even fraud. Both child support and spousal support (also known as alimony), however, can change to reflect changes in your life.

Life has a way of delivering the unexpected in truly surprising ways. You could experience a sudden accident that forces you into early retirement. The business you worked for or even owned could end up failing, leaving you with substantially reduced income. If you find yourself in a vastly different situation, it may be time to consider a support modification.

6 tips that make co-parenting easier

Co-parenting is tricky. Your ex has primary custody, so you only see the kids every other weekend. You drop in sometimes for dinner, but you're not as involved as you'd like to be.

While the situation can be hard, having the right mindset can make it easier. Here are six tips that can help.

Your divorce decree doesn't matter to your credit card company

You and your spouse are getting divorced. Before the split, you racked up $20,000 in debt on a credit card. Your now ex says he or she will pay it off after the divorce; it's no problem.

If your ex follows through, great. However, if he or she fails to pay, you can still expect to get phone calls from the company or a collections agency.

Is it possible to arrange terms for an uncontested divorce?

Many people view divorce like a war or a battle, pitting one spouse against the other in an attempt to win certain assets or control child custody issues. That kind of contentious approach can result in a protracted divorce process, requiring a lot of time and money to complete. When the courts have to set the terms of your divorce, it can take a lot of time to reach a proper decision. It can also leave both spouses unhappy with the outcome of the divorce.

In some cases, it may be possible for spouses headed toward divorce to arrange for an uncontested divorce. That means that you and your spouse agree on specific terms regarding the process of asset division, child support and custody and any spousal support or alimony. If you're hoping for an uncontested divorce, there are a few key issues to keep in mind.

Child support should be viewed as an opportunity not a burden

Child support comes with child custody agreements. The premise for these payments is simple -- both parents need to have a part in financially supporting their children. Child support payments are ordered by the court and must be paid according to the order.

Parents should realize that while child custody and support are often lumped together, they aren't dependent on one another. A parent can have contact with a child even if they don't pay child support. The child can't be kept from the parent if the payments are made and the payments can't be withheld if the child doesn't see the parents.

Tips for dealing with the emotions of a divorce

Don't expect divorce to be easy, even if you're the one asking for the divorce and you want it to happen. It can still be tough. It's still emotional.

As you move forward, it's important to know how to work through all of these emotions. Below are a few tips that may help:

  • Don't think you have to do it by yourself. You still have friends and other family members, even as your marriage breaks up. Don't be afraid to talk to them or think you have to hide how you feel.
  • Focus on the future. Try not to get so wrapped up in what's happening now or the past that you're losing. That can lead to depression. Instead, think about what you want to do after the divorce and the type of future you want to work to create for yourself.
  • Make new friends. It can be hard to feel like your life has stagnated after a split. Reach out and try new activities and make new friends. Do some things you've always wanted to do but never had time for before.
  • Don't worry about what other people think. Some may not be happy that you got divorced. You may feel that they're judging you. Don't worry about it. This is your life, not theirs. You can't please everyone all of the time. Focus on your own happiness, and, if you have them, focus on your kids.

Giving your ex the house has to be done very precisely

Your spouse wants to keep the house when you get divorced. That's fine with you; you don't want it. You're planning to buy your own place. Divorce isn't what you imagined when you go married, but you're making the most of it.

Figuring out a property division agreement that gives your ex the home is certainly possible. You just need to make sure that you do it very carefully and precisely.

Advance planning is key with a holiday custody schedule

Want to make sure you add some stress to the holiday season? Put off your child custody scheduling until the last minute. Few things make it harder for divorced parents and their children to enjoy the holidays.

You're far better off to plan in advance. Maybe you already did; get that schedule out and double-check it. The kids don't have school. You have time off from work. You may have trips to the kids grandparents' houses. All of these things need to be factored into the holiday schedule, which doesn't always line up with the weekly schedule the rest of the year.

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