Baltimore Prenuptial Agreement

There are many reasons to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement prior to your wedding.  A Baltimore Prenuptial Agreement lawyer can help explain the reasons for a prenuptial agreement and whether it is a good fit for your situation.

Some common questions are:

How do I protect my premarital assets during a marriage and in the event of divorce?

How can I avoid a costly and contentious divorce like my parents experienced?

How can I make sure I am protected in case of divorce but I haven’t worked during the marriage?

These questions have important answer and if you are asking these question than a consultation with a Baltimore prenuptial lawyer may be right for you.

Maryland Prenuptial Agreements

Maryland does not have a uniform prenuptial or premarital agreement statute addressing prenuptial agreements.  Until 1984, prenuptial agreements were frowned upon by Maryland Courts.  However, Maryland family law now allows people before and after marriage to enter into enforceable agreements (contracts) to resolve their issues especially property distribution, alimony and attorney’s fees.

It is important that each potential spouse consult with a lawyer to review the prenuptial agreement prior to signing.

Under Maryland Law a court will evaluate the validity of prenuptial agreement.  Generally, the test that a Maryland Court will apply to uphold or overturn the agreement is” whether there was overreaching, that is, whether in the atmosphere and environment of the confidential relationship there was unfairness or inequity in the result of the agreement or in its procurement. Frank, full and truthful disclosure of what is being relinquished (or in lieu thereof actual knowledge otherwise available or obtained) is the key that turns the lock of the door leading to impregnable validity.” Harbom v. Harbom, 134 Md. App. 430, 741 (2000)

Usually, if each party is represented and fully advised of their rights, courts will uphold an otherwise valid Maryland prenuptial agreement.

To ensure that the prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable it is a good idea to call a Baltimore prenuptial agreement lawyer to draft and explain the law to you.  A person should never sign a prenuptial agreement without first consulting with a lawyer because of the many rights you may be giving up that you did not know you had or did not care to consider at this time in your life.

Contact a Baltimore prenuptial agreement lawyer David D. Nowak 443-470-9071 www.davidnowaklaw.com

Each case is different so you should consult an attorney to receive legal advice for your specific situation.  This post is for general legal information and is not legal advice.

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Have you been denied Unemployment Benefits?

If you lose your job you may have the right to file for unemployment benefits.  Unemployment benefits are direct payments to an employee that was severed from employment usually due to no fault of their own.  The amount of benefits you receive depends on your income while you worked.  The benefit is much less than you would make if you were still working, but if you are unemployed any money coming in, is better than no money coming in.

Once you know that you have lost your job, filing for benefits is relatively easy and can be accomplished with little effort.  In fact, filing can be accomplished by going to the Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing (DLLR) Website and filing on-line.  It is advisable that you file for unemployment benefits as soon as possible after your severance date.  If possible the very next day.  Even if you think you are not eligible to receive benefits, you should file, or consult and attorney to see if you should file.

Usually, the DLLR Division of Unemployment will schedule a phone interview to confirm whether you are eligible for the benefits you applied for.  This phone call normally lasts less than ten minutes and the most applicants are approved and receive benefits.  You  will usually continue to receive benefits provided you file the periodic Webcert certifying compliance with unemployment requirements, such as applying for work regularly.  Applicants at this stage normally do not need legal representation.

If your employer challenges your right to receive unemployment benefits you may have to defend yourself during the telephone interview and later at an in-person hearing.  If this occurs you should consult a lawyer.  Your employer must allege and prove that you do not qualify for benefits.  Normally, the employer claims that the employee was terminated or severed from employment for one or more of the following:

  1. Voluntarily leaving without good cause (Labor and Employment Section 8-1001).  Also known as quitting.
  2. Termination for misconduct (Labor and Employment Section 8-1003).  This is usually violation of minor company policies, such as chronic lateness and absenteeism.
  3. Termination for gross misconduct (Labor and Employment Section 8-1002).  This is the deliberate and willful disregard of the standards of behavior that an employer rightfully expects and that shows gross indifference to the interests of the employer, or repeated violation of employment rules that prove a regular and wanton disregard of the employee’s obligations.
  4. Termination for aggravated misconduct (Labor and Employment Section 8-1002.1).  This is behavior committed with actual malice and deliberate disregard for the property, safety, or life of others that:  affects the employer, fellow employees, subcontractors, invitees of the employer, members of the public, or the ultimate consumer of the employer’s products and services.   It consists of either physical assault or property loss or damage so serious that the penalties of misconduct and gross misconduct are not sufficient.

If you are found ineligible for benefits you may appeal a negative decision from the hearing examiner and request an in-person hearing.  Conversely, the employer may also appeal the hearing examiner’s grant of benefits.  If this occurs, both parties should consult legal counsel to make sure an appeal to the Division of Lower Appeals is timely filed, and each party knows their rights.  If you did not already retain an attorney for the telephone conference now is the time to do so.  Even if you voluntarily left work you may still have a right to certain benefits, so consulting an attorney is very important at this stage.

If you are found to be liable for any of the above types of conduct the penalty may be as simple as the loss of a few weeks of benefits, or as serious as total disqualification.  Since you receive benefits for a set period of time or until you find employment, a total disqualification could mean the loss of thousands of dollars in benefits you deserve.

It is in your best interest to consult an attorney as soon as you are terminated from employment.  The attorney’s fees for a claimant / employee are fixed by law at 200% of your weekly unemployment benefit.  Simply put, to get an attorney you will pay him or her two weeks of benefits so it is relatively inexpensive and if you win, the benefits outweigh the costs.

In these dire economic times where a steady, reliable job is no longer a certainty, you need to know your rights and get the advice you need.  www.davidnowaklaw.com