Does A Divorce Lawyer Represent A Trust During A Divorce?
A divorce lawyer helps divorcing couples terminate their marriage and resolve issues such as custody, support, property division and debts. Often, a case is settled without going to trial. But if you do end up in court, it is important to choose an attorney who will represent your best interests.
A trust is a legal document whereby someone (the “grantor”) puts property into the care of a trustee and gives authority to the Trustee to manage that property for the benefit of one or more people, often chosen by the grantor (“beneficiaries”). In some cases, the assets held in a trust are exempt from division in a divorce. These include gifts or inherited property that was received through the use of a trust and the assets of a deceased individual that are placed into a revocable or living trust. However, the court will consider any interests a spouse has in a trust during the divorce as a financial resource and this can affect many aspects of the divorce. A spouse’s interests in a trust can be used to weigh how well off they will be after the divorce, including spousal maintenance payments and child support. A lawyer who is experienced in estate planning will be able to help you protect your interests. It’s important to remember that the legality of a trust and the placement of funds into it can be complicated.
Custody is the legal right to make decisions about the upbringing of a child. This can include where the children go to school, what their religion is, whether or not they get medical care and other major decisions. Usually, custody is awarded to one parent and the other gets parenting time. However, if there is a reason to change that arrangement, either parent can petition the court for a modification. A parent can request a modification based on a change in circumstances, such as the birth of a new child or a significant move away from the existing custody arrangement. The court will consider these changes to see if the modification is in the best interests of the child. While it may be easy to assume that women should get custody, more and more fathers are being awarded primary custody today. This is a result of changing gender stereotypes and an understanding that parents can be good caregivers regardless of their gender.
Alimony is a court-ordered payment that one spouse must provide to their former spouse for financial support. It may be permanent or temporary, and it can be awarded during a divorce or dissolution of marriage (civil union). Most states consider 14 factors when determining how much alimony to award. These include the earning capacity of each party, the age and health of each spouse, the economic and non-economic contributions of each spouse, any economic opportunities that were lost due to the marriage, and any other factors a judge believes is important. If your spouse is not paying alimony as ordered by the court, you can seek a modification or enforcement of an existing order. These actions may result in a new, more favorable alimony agreement or even termination of the current spousal support payments.
When a couple gets divorced, they must divide their property in a way that is fair for everyone. This is a tough task, especially if the couples have accumulated significant assets such as retirement accounts, real estate or business interests. Most states have one of two property division systems: community property or equitable distribution. In community property states, all property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and must be divided equally between the parties. In equitable distribution states, like Maryland, courts divide property based on what is fair under the circumstances. In some cases, the court may decide to give one spouse more of the marital property than the other. If you are divorcing, it is important to understand how the property is divided and what your options are. If you and your spouse can reach a settlement, you will save a lot of time and money that would otherwise be spent on litigating this issue all the way to trial.