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  • Pet Custody after Divorce

    For many people and couples, their pets are like their children (especially if they don’t have human children). They treat them almost the same as they would a child - they feed them, bathe them, take them to the doctor when they’re sick, play with them, and share their deep dark secrets with them. So what happens when that couple decides to get divorced? How is "custody" of the animal decided? It may sound cold or harsh, but when it comes to a divorce, the Maryland courts do not treat animals like children. They treat them like personal property, same as they would the dining room table, television set, or lawnmower. This means that (1) you can't assume that one of you will even get "custody"; and (2) there will be a monetary value placed on the pet that the court would take into consideration when dividing up all of the marital property. We often don’t consider pets unusual items to quibble over in a divorce but they do, unfortunately, become an after-thought in the divorce proceedings. It’s important to think about them early on in the divorce proceedings so you don’t end up arguing over them later on or, even worse, having the court order the pet to be sold along with the furniture!

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  • Hidden Assets During Divorce

    In the heat of a divorce, when emotions are running high and the trust has gone out the window, it’s not a farfetched idea that your soon-to-be-ex could potentially be hiding valuable assets from you and your divorce attorneys. If your spouse comes to you and says they want a divorce and they’ve been thinking about it for a while, you would be wise to at least suspect that they may have taken steps to prepare for what’s to come. Including moving money around so that you don’t receive a fair share of the property when it’s all said and done. Or maybe you weren't that involved in managing the family's finances so you really have no idea what there might even be to hide? What can you do in that situation? You can’t outright accuse them because they would surely deny it and you’d undoubtedly just be adding kindling to the fire. Do you do some snooping of your own? Or do you hire a private investigator to do it for you? Well, actually, if you’ve hired a divorce attorney, you’ve already hired a private investigator of sorts. Keep reading to find out what we mean by that.

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  • What to do if you’ve been named executor of an estate

    Disclaimer: This guide is meant to provide general, helpful information to an Executor/Personal Representative of an Estate. It is not intended to be legal advice or a set of hard-and-fast rules. If you have questions or concerns about your specific situation, please consider giving us a call today at (410) 535-6100. Being chosen as the executor of an estate can be both an honor and a challenge, all at the same time. By definition, an executor is delegated with the huge responsibility of ensuring that a person’s last wishes are honored. It is therefore critical that a person who has been designated as the executor of an estate fully understands what is required of them prior to the passing of a loved one. What follows is a general list of items to consider prior to a loved one’s passing. We encourage you to print it out, make notes and changes to suit your specific needs, and, as always, give us a call if you have any questions about what is being asked of you as the executor.

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    Ferrante & Dill LLC - Calvert County Lawyers
  • Senior Citizens and Fraud Schemes

    You hear about it on the news all the time: reports of fraudsters attempting to pull a fast one on our nation’s senior citizens. These scammers try to elicit personal and sensitive information from the unsuspecting elderly victims in order to bogart their Social Security checks, steal their identity, and demolish their credit by opening handfuls of new credit accounts.  What is it that makes seniors such an appealing group for these ne’er-do-wells to target? According to the FBI, senior citizens are most likely to have built up a “nest egg”, own their own home, qualify for Social Security payments, and/or have excellent credit, all of which make them attractive to these con artists.

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    Ferrante & Dill LLC - Calvert County Lawyers
  • Understanding the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

    What happens when someone is convicted of a crime? We've all seen it on the news - the Court imposes a sentence which could include jail time, fines, restitution, community service and/or probation. These are the direct consequences of a conviction. But what never makes it on to TV is that convictions often trigger additional sanctions that go beyond the judge's sentence. Collateral consequences of the conviction can be serious, and sometimes have a longer lasting and more profound impact than the sentence imposed by the judge.

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    Ferrante & Dill LLC - Calvert County Lawyers
  • What are the Prevent Departure Program and the Passport Issuance Alert Program

    Can one parent prevent another parent from leaving the country with their child(ren)?  Maybe under one of these programs:  the Prevent Departure Program and the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program.  

    You may remember Kelly Rutherford’s well-publicized 2015 custody battle with her ex-husband over her two kids. Ms. Rutherford was fighting for her two small children to remain in the United States, rather than with her ex who lived abroad in countries like France and Monaco. In a seemingly surprising turn of events, the courts ruled that the children would live with their father in Monaco and would stay with their mother in the summer for 6 weeks in the States. Rutherford didn’t stop fighting though and petitioned courts in both California and New York to accept jurisdiction of her case so she could continue fighting for her kids. She was working against a court order to put her kids on a plane back to their father in Monaco at the end of their 6-week stay in June of 2015. When both states denied jurisdiction, though, Rutherford refused to send her kids back to Monaco. Her ex retaliated, lambasting her as a child abductor and demanding she return the children immediately.

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    Ferrante & Dill LLC - Calvert County Lawyers
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