Jeffrey N. Greenblatt

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Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA

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Rockville MD Divorce Law Blog

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Student loans becoming a bigger issue in divorce

People in Maryland know that there are a lot of different financial factors that go into a divorce settlement. Property division is a complicated divorce legal issue, as couples have to be concerned about what they will walk away with after their marital separation is complete. In the big picture, marital property includes essentially everything that was acquired during the course of the marriage, including real estate, cars, property, savings and investment accounts and even student loan debt.

Student loans are becoming the norm for most college graduates these days, as education and the prospect of a better career come at no small cost. In 2012, the average college graduate owed about $30,000 in student loan debt, and paying this debt off can be a daunting task. For that reason, more and more couples divorce while still owing debt on their student loans.

Divorce rates higher than once expected

People in Maryland may have heard about recent studies that seek to capture the true and accurate picture of couples in the United States. This can be a tricky proposition, because the happiness of couples can't simply be measured by the divorce rate. While sociologists seemed content that the health of American marriages was under control for many years, they perhaps weren't looking too far past the overall divorce rate.

A closer look, though, reveals that marriages are still potentially at risk, and divorce rates among certain age groups are actually skyrocketing. In particular, divorce rates seem to be increasing among the oldest Americans. Since 1990, the divorce rate for people between the ages of 60 and 65 has tripled, and has increased even further for people 65 and older.

What assets to look for in a divorce

People in Maryland may have seen a recent financial help article about the things divorcing spouses should look for, and the warning signs that the other spouse might be attempting to divert or hide assets that should be considered in property division.

Finances are among the major concerns every divorcing person puts on their list of priorities, but people in a high asset divorce might have to dig a bit deeper to make sure they are treated fairly when it comes to a complex asset division situation. Couples with significant assets generally have assets in a variety of different forms, such as retirement accounts, stocks and other business holdings. Having a variety of diversified assets is generally a good thing, but in a divorce it could also mean more opportunities for concealing money or property that the other spouse is entitled to.

Be careful how you vent during a divorce

People in Maryland may have seen a recent advice article about how social media and other online transactions and interactions can give rise to major problems if they fall into the wrong hands. Most people already know that the digital record they create every day can come back to them, but perhaps they don't understand how exactly that can transpire. In the context of a divorce, every little detail gleaned from social media can potentially become part of a court record, which should be a powerful reminder that people should always think before they tweet.

Don't forget about college tuition in the divorce settlement

People in Maryland may have seen a recent editorial about the importance of planning for children's college tuition, even when parents are divorced. Divorce may force a lot of compromises in a family, but most parents would never want to compromise their children's future by not being able to send them to college.

In a child custody dispute, most parents worry feverishly about how to manage the day-to-day needs of the kids while undergoing such a major family transition. While parents worry about the best interests of the child in the immediate sense, unfortunately that doesn't always leave them with enough time or energy to deal with longer-term issues. But with a little extra attention to these issues, parents could see big rewards in the long run.

Woman allegedly hired hitman, still retains child custody

People in Maryland may have heard about an intriguing, scandal-laden divorce and child custody dispute that is still raging on after nearly five years and countless legal motions brought by both parties. The case, which is still underway in the Connecticut family court system, took an even more bizarre turn when it was revealed that the mother was arrested in 2012 for allegedly soliciting the murder of her ex-husband, yet she still retains custody of the couple's 8-year-old daughter.

The girl's father has come out recently by filing a grievance with a legal oversight board, claiming that the girl's guardian ad-litem, whose legal responsibility in the matter is to act in the best interests of the child, has neglected her duties by allowing the child to remain in the custody of her mother in light of the shocking allegations against her.

Ex-NFL wide receiver has busy week in family courts

People in Maryland may remember Terrell Owens, the talented but troubled NFL wide receiver who's on and off-field antics made him one of the league's most well-known players. His tumultuous football career came to an end several seasons ago, but his name is still in the papers, this time due to his equally tumultuous personal life. Last month he made headlines for playing the anti-cupid and filing for divorce on Valentine's Day, after his three-day marriage fell apart. Though this was his first marriage, Owens is no stranger to family law courts, due largely to the four children he has from previous relationships.

Owens' marriage lasted less than a week, and there are allegations abound that Owens only married his soon-to-be-ex-wife in order to get a loan on a $2 million house in an upscale California neighborhood. Apparently Owens is having some serious financial troubles, which is somewhat surprising seeing that he was making millions every season of his NFL career.

Financial decisions during divorce have lifetime repercussions

People in Maryland may have seen a recent article about divorce, and the financial aspects of untying the knot that should have people thinking long and hard about their decision. Divorce is often an extremely personal and emotional decision, and these emotions can sometimes influence people to act in a way that doesn't benefit them in the long run.

Knowing what property interests a person wants to pursue in the divorce settlement, having a plan in place, and separating the emotional aspect of the split from the business side of things are all key components of a successful divorce strategy. It can be a daunting task, but fortunately, people don't have to go it alone. With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, people can handle their divorce in a professional, and ultimately beneficial, manner.

Billionaire's divorce causes widespread asset discovery efforts

People in Maryland and many across the country are enthralled by the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but they may not have heard about the recent issues regarding one of the Russian Olympics' biggest benefactors, who is embroiled in a contentious divorce. His wife of 30 years has filed for divorce in the Russian court system, but now she has petitioned the U.S. courts to get involved by compelling some of her husband's business partners in the U.S. to testify about the man's assets.

In a complex divorce, it's important to take every step necessary to compel the opposing spouse to divulge everything about their financial situation, including business holdings, property interests and other accounts, even if those accounts span into international territories. That is exactly what the man's wife is now doing by requesting the assistance of the U.S. court system to help shed some light on the couple's financial situation. She claims he has been secretive about the couple's finances, but knows that a significant portion of his $14 billion fortune is within the United States.

Judge rules against ex-wife's post-divorce lawsuit

People in Maryland may have heard about a recent divorce-related court case, and the court's tongue-in-cheek ruling that followed. The wife of Steve Cohen, the billionaire hedge fund manager at SAC Capital Partners, brought a suit stemming from the couple's divorce 25 years ago, alleging that Cohen hid some $5 million or more in assets from her during the divorce.

But the real kicker was the adjoining claim, that Cohen had violated the RICO Act by committing insider trading, money laundering and even fraud. Under the federal RICO Act, she would have received triple the civil damages she sought in relation to her divorce claim. The court, in a ruling that sounded equal parts chastising and exasperated, denied her claim while commenting on the unusual length of the litigation between these ex-spouses.

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