Dollars and Dimes of Divorce

Investing in Your Divorce Action

Divorce is not a small matter because it typically affects issues of child support, alimony, and division of marital property. Since it can be a time consuming and expensive matter, you should spend lots of time to protect what you hope to gain from the divorce, whether it is alimony, personal property, real property, etc.

An investment of your time and financial resources may be required in order to protect the money you will receive in child support and/or alimony and in the division of marital property. Having sufficient financial resources so that you can properly have your divorce litigated is important. However, it is prudent to also invest your time in order to protect things that you are interested in saving. For example, in regard to alimony, you must keep receipts and records of your expenses so that your monthly expenses can be quantified and an alimony figure can be produced. It is the same also for determining child support and a marital property division. You have to take the time to collect records, receipts, or any other documentation so you can protect these assets and ensure you are getting the money to which you are entitled.

How do I find out how much my monthly expenses are?

The simplest way to calculate your monthly expenses is to complete the Domestic Relations Form 31 (Dom Rel 31) located on the Maryland circuit court website. When a Plaintiff or Defendant seeks child support and/or alimony, this is the form that is required by the court. It lays out all of your assets, property, incomes, expenses, etc. At your initial hearing for a divorce, called a Magistrate’s hearing, this form is going to be reviewed by the Magistrate (who gives recommendations to a judge who can then put the recommendations into an order). The Magistrate will look at this form to determine if alimony should be granted based upon the discrepancies in income and expenses between the spouses. This form is also used at other stages of the divorce process and in evaluation of the merits at trial. As you can see, this form is essential and helpful as you begin preparing for a divorce. In order to best fill out this form, you should begin saving all of your receipts early on so that you can get a sense of your monthly expenses. When Fred Antenberg advises clients about tracking their financial expenses for a month, he says “If you went to your employer to get reimbursed for an expense, would they trust your word or would they want a receipt?” If you have your receipts, then at court a Magistrate or a judge, like an employer, will be provided with sufficient evidence to grant your “reimbursement”, also known as alimony and child support.

Fred Antenberg is an Divorce Attorney who handles family law matters in the Howard County and Central Maryland region. If you have any family law issues that you need assistance with, Fred can help explain your situation legally, go over your options, and help choose the best path for you moving forward. CONTACT Fred to help you with your divorce at 410-730-4404.