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Compared to other US states, Maryland residents enjoy some of the best odds of staying together after getting married. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the state divorce rate is just 2.6 divorces per 1,000 residents – a significant dip from the rate of 3.4 during the 1990s. Of course, considering the fact that Maryland’s population is just over 6 million, that still means almost 16,000 individuals will be contemplating or going through the divorce process. If you are among them, one of the first things you want to know is how long proceedings will take.
In truth, there is no way to know the exact duration of a divorce case. There are a few points to keep in mind that will streamline the proceedings, and retaining a Maryland divorce attorney is a good start. However, the ball is in your court to a certain extent. As a way of showing how even the smallest actions have consequences, the following are a few ways to make sure your divorce takes longer than it should. Do not do any of the following:
Approach Divorce as a Win-Lose Proposition
Make sure your strategy for divorce is cutthroat, from the perspective that there can only be one winner. Identify areas where you will not budge, and adamantly communicate your refusal to compromise on:
- What is considered marital versus separate assets;
- Distribution of marital property;
- Alimony, including the type, amount, and duration; and,
- Custody, visitation, and support for minor children.
Hide or Mishandle Assets
The court cannot make an equitable distribution of property when the judge does not have a complete picture of the parties’ assets. Therefore, your best bet is to conceal them, even though doing so is unlawful and subject to harsh penalties. Note that other types of misconduct might also lead to problems, including making transfers to others, dissipating the value, or encumbering assets.
Bring Children Into the Fray
Child psychologists almost unanimously agree that putting children in the middle of divorce issues can lead to long-term consequences for their physical health, emotional well-being, and cognitive development. Courts look with extreme disfavor on parents who harm their child’s best interests through such tactics. You risk losing parental rights, though you can be sure the court will still order child support.
Do NOT Take Mediation Seriously
Unless inappropriate due to the presence of domestic violence, parties in most Maryland divorce cases will be ordered to mediation. This process is designed to encourage productive conversation, which goes a long way toward reaching agreement on disputes. Since you are unwilling to compromise, do not participate in a meaningful way. Mediation is not binding, so you can always go back to court and litigate every issue.
Avoid Delays With Guidance From a Baltimore County, MD Divorce Attorney
Obviously, NONE of these strategies is a wise approach to divorce in Maryland. To learn about ways to move through the process efficiently, please contact William F. Mulroney. We can set up a consultation to review your circumstances and get started on essential tasks right away.