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Johnine Clark, P.A. Law Blog

Thursday, September 17, 2020

October 1st Maryland Child Support Changes


Beginning October 1, 2020, the manner in which child support is calculated is changing. There is now a three-tiered system for calculating child support that hopefully will alleviate instances where parents are battling over a few overnights. Currently, 128 overnights is the dividing line between sole physical custody and shared physical custody (joint legal/joint physical custody). The difference in what is paid under sole physical custody and shared physical custody is often significant. A parent who has 127 overnights may still have the same expenses as the parent having 128 overnights, but that one overnight could mean the difference of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month in child support, when the reality is that the amount of expenses are very similar 

As of October 1, 2020, cases will be evaluated on a three-tiered framework where: (1) one parent has the child(ren) for 91 overnights or less; (2) one parent has the child(ren) between 92 and 109 overnights; or (3) both parents have the children for at least 110 overnights.

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Costs Associated with Dying Without a Will


When someone dies without a will, it is known as dying intestate.  In such cases, state law (of the state in which the person resides) governs how the person's estate is administered. In most states, the individual's assets are split -- with one third of the estate going to the spouse and all surviving children splitting the rest. For people who leave behind large estates, unless they have established trusts or other tax avoidance protections, there may be a tremendous tax liability, including both estate and inheritance tax.

For just about everyone, the cost of having a will prepared by a skilled and knowledgeable attorney is negligible when compared to the cost of dying intestate,  since there are a number of serious consequences involved in dying without a proper will in place.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Gun Trusts: Targeted Estate Planning


If you have a gun collection, your estate plan may be missing the mark if it fails to include a specially drafted gun trust. The typical estate plan provides for tax saving strategies, probate avoidance and beneficiary designation of various assets. However, some assets pose additional issues that must be carefully addressed to avoid unintended consequences in the future. Firearms, in particular, are regulated under federal and state laws and demand careful attention from your estate planning attorney.

Your gun collection may include weapons used for sport, self-defense or investment purposes.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Dangers of Minors and Sexting


Last summer, the Maryland Court of Appeals—the state’s highest court—decided that the state’s child pornography statute applies to a 16-year-old girl who texted a one-minute video of herself to her teenage best friends. In the video, she is seen performing a consensual sex act.

In his opinion, Judge Joseph M. Getty said that the court had to contend with this question: “Can a minor legally engaged in consensual sexual activity be his or her own pornographer through the act of sexting?”

In a 6–1 ruling, the judges decided that the answer was yes, despite considering the “complexities of the sociocultural phenomenon of sexting by minors.”

This is disturbing firstly, because a minor was engaged in this behavior, and secondly because, although she participated consensually, is now a child pornographer at the age of 16.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How to Protect Your Will from Unhappy Relatives


Having an updated last will and testament is more important than ever, especially now. However, a will that is poorly created or not frequently updated can be vulnerable to contestation. What is contestation? It is the formal objection to a will’s (or trust’s) validity because it either: a) doesn’t reflect the wishes of the person who created the will, or b) because the will does not meet legal standards. 

Will contests should be avoided at all costs. Not only can a contest derail your final wishes, but it can also rapidly deplete your estate and wreak emotional havoc on the family members left behind.


Read more . . .


Sunday, June 7, 2020

Child Visitation During COVID-19


How do I handle visitation with my children during the pandemic?  I have court-ordered bi-weekly visitation, and my Ex is using the COVID-19 stay at home orders as a reason why I should not have visitation.

We are all trying to make adjustments to the “new normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Non-custodial parents with existing court orders have been finding it even more difficult.  

A court order has to be complied with by both parties, and a party that fails to do so could be held in contempt and risk a judge ordering a change in custody or losing tie-breaking authority.  Courts will always consider what is in the “best interest of the children,” when making a decision.


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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Don’t Risk it: Protect Your Finances from Coronavirus Complications

Many Americans spend a lot of time and effort in managing their finances. While most are worried about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact their income—whether that’s because they are temporarily furloughed, find themselves suddenly without a job, or watching their investment and retirement accounts dwindle—there is another way COVID-19 can wreak havoc on American’s finances: lack of incapacity planning.  

As the coronavirus continues to expand across the country, thousands of Americans are unable to carry out normal financial responsibilities because they are too ill, or they are stuck abroad and unable to travel home, or from a lack of resources due to being isolated at home. 

While feeling healthy, individuals should plan ahead now and ensure that someone will take care of their financial duties by setting up a Financial Power of Attorney. This important legal document will not only protect your finances should you fall ill from COVID-19 but also from any events that might leave you incapacitated, like an injury or accident.


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Friday, April 24, 2020

Preparing for Coronavirus: The #1 Legal Document Every Adult Needs to Have

As the coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life and leave Americans uncertain of the future, you don’t have to feel helpless during this pandemic. In fact, now is a great time to be proactive and plan ahead should you or a loved one fall ill. One of the most important and relatively easy things you can do (and should do) is to select a medical agent and set up your advance healthcare directive. 


Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

RGIII "No Pressure No Diamonds" Part 4

Robert Griffin III has been in the news lately for more than just football.  For the next few posts I'm going to talk about some of his mistakes and how you can avoid them.


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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

RGIII "No Pressure No Diamonds" Part 3

Robert Griffin III has been in the news lately for more than just football. For the next few posts I'm going to talk about some of his mistakes and how you can avoid them. 


Read more . . .


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