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Your Divorce Team: The Professionals Who Can Help

patrickcrawford | September 10, 2021
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Because your divorce will directly affect your post-divorce finances, your living arrangements with your children, and more, paying the matter the attention it deserves is key, but knowing where to begin can be tricky. Once you have an experienced Annapolis divorce lawyer heading up your team, you’ll have a clearer understanding of any additional professionals you’ll need to work with moving forward. 

Your Divorce Process

Your divorce will be unique to you, your family, and the circumstances involved. This means that, while all you may need is a dedicated divorce lawyer on your side, other professionals may be necessary to help ensure that your rights are well protected throughout the legal process under Maryland law.

 

Generally, the more complicated your divorce, the more likely it is that you’ll need to hire additional professionals, and your insightful divorce lawyer will help you make the right choices for you. Some of the professionals who are most likely to be involved in divorce cases include:

 

  1. Forensic accountants
  2. Valuation experts
  3. Child specialists
  4. Mediators

 

The Elements of Your Divorce

While every divorce is highly specific to the couple involved, they all involve the same elements (as applicable), including:

 

  1. The division of marital property
  2. Child custody arrangements
  3. Child support
  4. Alimony

 

If anyone or more of these elements is complicating your divorce, your divorce lawyer may advise you to seek the experienced guidance of a professional in the field.

Your Professional Team

Your professional team will reflect the challenges you face that are specific to your own divorce. The more contentious and/or complicated your divorce, the more likely you are to need professionals in addition to your resourceful divorce lawyer.

Forensic Accountants

If your divorce involves high assets, it is likely to further complicate the already complicated division of marital property. In fact, all of the following can complicate this division:

 

  1. If your spouse manages your finances entirely or nearly entirely, it can make it far more difficult for you to defend your financial rights.
  2. If your finances are complicated in general (with a mixture of separate property, property that is difficult to classify as either separate or marital and diverse sources of income), it makes the just division of marital property that much more challenging.
  3. If your divorcing spouse is attempting to hide, give away, spend down, or otherwise dissipate your marital finances, it puts you at a distinct financial disadvantage).

 

If any of these applies to your divorce, you need an experienced forensic accountant on your team to explore your marital finances more deeply and to help ensure that you obtain a fair division of your marital property (by ensuring that the court understands all the financial parts that are included).

Valuation Experts

If you and your spouse own a business together, obtaining a fair division will hinge upon having a solid valuation, which is difficult to manage without an accounting professional who specializes in these complicated and often arduous valuations. Once you have a valuation you can trust in place, it makes moving forward with an equitable division of your marital property far more doable.

Other Assets that Often Require Valuations

Other kinds of assets that often require valuations include:

 

  1. Valuable collections
  2. Artwork
  3. Financial holdings
  4. Real estate properties

 

If your marital assets are diverse or otherwise complicated – such as by business ownership – having a valuation accountant on your team is always well advised.

Separate Property

In Maryland, that property that either of you brings into the marriage with you and keeps separate throughout is classified as separate property, and it will not be included in the division of your marital property. This being said, however, if your spouse did bring a business or other valuable asset into the marriage with him or her and did manage to keep it completely separate from your marital assets, which is not an easy task, any increase in its value is still marital property. Establishing this increase in value can also be quite challenging.

Child Specialists

One of the most complicated aspects of divorce tends to be child custody arrangements, and if you and your divorcing spouse have drastically different ideas about how your time with the children should be divided, the court will likely need to intervene on your behalf. When it comes to matters that involve children, the court always focuses on the best interests of the children involved, and often, the best way to help the court make such determinations is by having a child specialist, such as a child psychologist or counselor, on your team. The court takes a variety of important factors into consideration in making decisions about child custody, and some of the most important include:

 

  1. Each parent’s capacity to facilitate each child’s relationship with the other parent (which is considered vital to a child’s well-being)
  2. The nature of each child’s relationship with each parent
  3. How the custody arrangements will affect the status quo in the children’s lives (maintaining the status quo is generally considered a positive for children)
  4. The ability each parent has to maintain open communications regarding child custody concerns with the other parent
  5. The demands inherent to each parent’s job and career

 

It’s difficult for the judge involved in your case to obtain an accurate reading on everything that goes into making child custody decisions that support your children’s best interests, and this is especially true in highly contentious divorces. A mental health specialist who specializes in children can help ensure that the judge in your case has a more accurate view of your children’s needs and best interests, which can prove far more effective than taking a he said, she said approach.

Mediators

In order to finalize your divorce, you’ll need to negotiate each of the primary terms that remain unresolved between you and your divorcing spouse. Sometimes, the reports generated by the relevant professionals involved in your case can help you find a middle ground (such as once you’ve obtained a solid valuation of your business or after a child psychologist weighs in on the best interests of your children), but if this isn’t enough to move the needle on its own, mediation is a viable option. Most couples prefer to keep the power to make decisions regarding their post-divorce futures between themselves, and this can make mediation very inviting.

 

At mediation, you, your divorcing spouse, and your respective divorce attorneys will meet with a professional mediator who has considerable experience helping couples like you hammer out compromises that work for them – in light of how the court is likely to rule on the matters involved. Mediation provides you with the opportunity to negotiate freely (as the mediator goes back and forth between you) in a more comfortable and open setting that allows considerable give-and-take (rather than sole reliance on the judge’s intervention at court).

Reach out to an Experienced Annapolis Divorce Lawyer for the Legal Guidance You Need

Attorney Patrick Crawford is a distinguished Annapolis divorce lawyer who has the experience, focus, and drives to help guide your case toward a resolution that upholds your rights and supports your post-divorce future. Your case is important, so please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at (410) 216-7905 for more information today.


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