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Questions to ask when getting divorced

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It's your first marriage, and it didn't quite go how you hoped. You tried to work things out, but you finally realized you needed to get divorced.

As it's your first time, you understand that it's a complex process, and you don't want to overlook anything. To help you, here are some key questions you need to ask about major divorce points:

1. Will you need to share custody?

If you have children, odds are good that they are your main focus during the divorce. You want to make sure you still get to be involved in their lives. Will you seek sole custody? Are you more likely to share custody with your ex? If so, how should you work out all of the details? These could include the custody schedule, the exchange process, what to do on holidays and birthdays, and much more.

2. Will you pay or receive child support?

Raising children can become very expensive over the years, and married couples have to work together to cover these costs. After divorce, you still need to share these obligations. Does this mean you need to pay child support to your ex, or will you receive monthly payments? It depends on income levels, the child custody arrangement and the like.

3. How should you divide financial assets?

Splitting up money and financial assets can become one of the most contested areas of a divorce. What assets did you have before the marriage? What ones did you earn after tying the knot? You must disclose all assets and find a division solution that adheres to state laws.

4. What should you do with your house?

If the two of you bought a home together, it's probably the biggest single asset you own. Will you need to sell it? Can one of you keep it? Did you actually buy it before you got married? Whose name is on the deed and the paperwork for the mortgage? A home is a big investment and has a lot of value, especially if that value on the market has increased since you bought it, so what you decide here is very important.

5. Do you trust your spouse?

The key to divorce, in many ways, is working together. You need to talk openly about everything. Do you trust your spouse, or do you think they'll hide assets? Do you think they'll lie about you and make up stories to benefit themselves? Do you think they'll try to influence your kids to act against you?

If you have any of these concerns -- and even if you don't -- it is crucial to know about all of your legal options in Maryland and the steps you need to take.

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