On Aug. 26, the Chicago-based 7th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments regarding whether the ban against same-sex marriages in Wisconsin and Indiana should be upheld. The three-judge panel listened to arguments from the attorneys representing several same-sex couples who brought the challenge.
Same-sex marriage is legal here in Maryland, but until very recently, neighboring Pennsylvania did not extend full legal protections to every couple. Now, divorce between same-sex couples is the next inevitable legal challenge those couples will face. In fact, there has already been a divorce petition filed in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It happened last month and represented the first of its kind in the pantheon of same-sex nuptials.
Eliot Spitzer's ex-wife, Silda Spitzer, stood by his side during his prostitution scandal, but six years later he's paying an enormous settlement in their divorce settlement.
All too often, people in Maryland discussing divorce focus on the negative but doing that is only to examine one aspect of something that is multifaceted. Divorce can be a motivator for positive change and can actually result in everyone involved being happier and more satisfied with their lives. Living with a marriage that is simply not working is unlikely to leave anyone happy. Lingering on accomplishes nothing other than the passage of time, and with elapsed time, lost opportunities.
With the holiday season over, for many in Maryland it is a prime time to think about ending an unhappy non-functioning marriage and making a new start in life. Studies have indicated that Internet search engines see a huge jump in searches for family law, child custody, divorce and similar terms in the January through March period at the start of the year. And January through March is also a busy period for divorce filings in many courts.
When some marriages breakup in Maryland and elsewhere, one spouse may attempt to hide assets in order to try and reduce the size of their spouse's share of the marital assets or to minimize the amount of child or spousal support to be paid. Finding such assets, especially if private investigators are used, can greatly increase the expenses of a divorce. Often, however, past tax returns, especially those filed before there was any indication that the marriage was troubled, may furnish valuable clues.
Maryland native Jamie McCourt and her ex-husband Frank McCourt have agreed to a divorce settlement, over two years after initially announcing plans to separate. The couple had been locked in a long-running legal battle over the settlement, which largely concerned the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rock artist John Mellencamp and former wife Elaine Irwin Mellencamp have now officially split. Their divorce became final on August 12. The settlement agreement declares that the two handled property division amicably, but word has not surfaced on how much Mellencamp will have to pay in alimony. Property rights were also settled, but most of the details of the final 31-page agreement have not been released to the media.
Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has reportedly changed his mind after indicating in his original divorce filing that he did not wish to pay spousal support to his wife after the two separate. He has reversed his decision, saying that he made a mistake filling out the divorce paperwork and plans to pay for legal counsel as well. However, some experts believe that the change was not due to a mistake, but is rather a deliberate public relations move after negative reactions to his initial choice.
A handful of states have enacted formulas for determining alimony awards. In many states, the amount awarded to former spouses following a divorce is completely at the discretion of the presiding judge. Even though these decisions are based on factors like the financial statuses of the spouses, the length of the marriage and the health of each spouse, data shows that average alimony awards tend to be very inconsistent.