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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Women missing out on marital assets during property division

People in Maryland may have seen a recent financial editorial article in Forbes, which discussed some of the issues that women, especially women nearing retirement age, may run into, if they get a divorce. Most people realize that they are entitled to an equitable share of all property obtained during the marriage under Maryland divorce laws, but some people may overlook some of the most lucrative marital assets, which may be hidden in plain: 401(k)s, pensions, Social Security benefits and other retirement accounts.

According to a recent survey, it seems that a lot of spouses may have made the same costly mistake by failing to consider their spouse's retirement accounts in their divorce asset division settlement. The survey showed that 31% of all divorced spouses did not attempt to claim a share of these retirement assets, and did not know that they were even able to do so. So long as the retirement assets are accrued during the course of the marriage, odds are that each spouse is entitled to their fair share of them.

Divorce may threaten retirement plans

People in Maryland know that divorce can be an expensive proposition. In Maryland, it means that a divorcing spouse is entitled to an equitable share of all marital property, which is essentially all property obtained during the marriage. When most people think about property division, the first thoughts tend to gravitate towards tangible items, such as the marital home. While real estate is indeed an important piece of the property division settlement, some of the most important pieces of marital property may be tucked away in a 401(k) or other retirement account.

Every American dreams of a comfortable retirement, which is why many people try to save as much as they can for when that day comes when they can set aside their careers and live their lives according to their own rules. Many people receive retirement benefits through their employer, and may also contribute to a separate retirement account. Of course, people also pay a substantial amount towards the Social Security system each month, with the expectation that one day they will be able to rely on these funds.

Jennifer Lopez officially divorced after 3 years

People in Maryland may have heard about superstar couple Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's recent divorce, which has certainly been a long time coming. The couple originally announced their plan to split up in the summer of 2011, but due to personal decisions and a subsequent delay in court, the divorce didn't become official until last month. The couple has hardly been sitting still for the past three years, though, as both have moved on in their busy careers and also with other romantic partners.

The couple has seemed to work together rather amicably during this time, without any major public spats over the custody of their twin six-year-old children. Divorce during this time in a child's life can be a disruptive event, but it doesn't have to be -- depending on how the parents are able to work together and communicate during this time. Lopez and Anthony have agreed on a child custody arrangement that gives Lopez primary physical custody over the children for most of the month, but Anthony will also have custody of the two kids for seven days each month.

How to plan for property division with taxes in mind

People in Maryland may have seen a recent article which discussed the importance of thing about the tax implications of divorce, and in particular, paying close attention to which assets could trigger big time capital gains tax liabilities. When it comes to property division, every scenario is unique, which is why people need the help of an experienced divorce attorney to help them evaluate and sort out their marital property in the way that provides the most financial stability in the short and long term.

In a perfect world, every divorce would end with a simple property division process in which both parties walked away with equal amounts of cash and everyone is happy. However, in the real world, most couples don't own most of their assets in cash, and generally have at least some of it tied up in investments, retirement accounts, real estate and other property, including automobiles.

Filmmaker Michael Moore in high-asset divorce

The end of a marriage is not an easy event to begin, go through or finalize. This is especially true for high profile or wealthy couples. A high asset divorce often means a complex dissolution. Whether they cannot agree on the distribution of assets and property or financial support, it is important that divorcing spouses address the details of these issues.

Couples in Maryland may know controversial filmmaker Michael Moore for his outspoken stance on a number of hot-button political issues, as well as his highly successful string of feature films, documentaries and books. But Moore has been in the news again lately because of a personal issue, his divorce.

Look for hidden assets during divorce

People in Maryland may have seen an interesting article about the new frontier of digital currency, and its potential to provide an anonymous haven to conceal financial assets. Spouses preparing for a divorce need to be aware of hidden assets in all forms, but the relatively new phenomenon of digital currencies such as Bitcoin may make it easier for a dishonest spouse to convert traceable assets into undocumented digital currency, which is why divorcing spouses and their legal counsel need to be ready to address this issue.

In Maryland, each spouse is entitled to an equitable share of the marital property during the property division process. Marital property generally includes most assets acquired by the couple during the duration of the marriage, including financial assets, business holdings, tangible property and real estate. In a simple property division case, these assets are identified, valued and distributed equitably between the two divorcing parties.

Prenuptial agreements for social media sharing catching on

Maryland residents may have seen a recent news article about the newest legal remedy to address the problem of social media embarrassment. This issue is apparently becoming large enough that many attorneys across the nation are seeing requests to draw up prenuptial agreements that limit or specify exactly what information, pictures and other media a spouse may post to social media. While prenuptial agreements have historically been used primarily to provide asset protection, they can be flexible enough to provide protection from embarrassment as well.

These pre-marital agreements for social media may prove useful, especially when people consider that information shared over social media platforms may continue to exist in some form or another even if they are taken down or deleted by the user at a later date.

Elin Nordegren speaks out about life after divorce

People in Maryland probably remember the high profile divorce of Tiger Woods and his wife, Swedish nanny extraordinaire Elin Nordegren. The two seemed to be living the ideal married life, with Tiger enjoying one of the most prolific winning streaks in golf history while she tended to the children, helped manage their personal lives and cheered him on from the stands.

But their storybook marriage came to a crashing halt when evidence of Tiger's equally prolific infidelity streak became known to her, as well as most of the American public. After a scandalous incident involving a disoriented Tiger Woods driving an SUV with alleged golf club-related damage became the hottest tabloid fodder of the decade, it seemed like the two were destined for a divorce from which they might never recover.

Fathers' rights movement gaining support

People in Maryland may have seen an editorial in the news recently that dealt with the developing trend of fathers taking a stand to exercise their paternal rights. While the traditional concern may have been that fathers in non-marital situations were not willing or able to be active parents or even financial supporters of the child, a number of recent cases seem to illustrate a pendulum swing in the opposite direction.

Thanks in part to some high-profile fathers who have taken their fight for legal custody to the courts, the movement for fathers' rights seems to be gaining a lot of momentum. Many fathers feel that they should have equal rights as the mother when it comes to raising their children, and will fight for the recognition and enforcement of these rights.

Social contagion theory may explain increase in divorce

People in Maryland may have heard about an interesting study that followed residents in another state to determine how certain social factors impacted the state of their marriages. Fascinatingly, simply knowing somebody who got a divorce increased the chances that a person would get a divorce themselves.

The study showed that 75 percent of the people in the study were more likely to get a divorce if they had a friend who was divorced. But the impact didn't stop there, as people were also 33 percent more likely to get a divorce even if only a friend of a friend also got divorced.

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