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Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law

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Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

News and comments about divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, equitable property distribution, father’s rights, mother’s rights, family law, laws on divorce and other legal information in Maryland.

Loans as Income

January 29th, 2015

The IRS does not consider a loan to be income.

But if you own your own business, you can manipulate your income.  So if someone owes you $50,000 for goods and services, you don’t bill them until next year.  You have your business borrow $50,000 from the bank, using your $50,000 accounts receivable as collateral.  Then your business loans $50,000 to you for your living expenses.

Is your income zero or $50,000?

It’s a situation where you will want to have an accountant as an expert witness.  And even then, the accountants for each side will have conflicting opinions.  I’ve had cases where the judge decided to include loans as income.

Related posts:

  1. Are Gifts Income?
  2. Grossing Up Income
  3. Valuing the Business
  4. Is a One Time Capital Gain Income for Child Support?
  5. Inheritance as Income

Inheritance as Income

January 28th, 2015

Leroy and Mynell Gassaway married in 1952.  They separated in 1979.

In their DC divorce, the trial court divided marital property upon consideration of the fact that Leroy’s mother owned a house and that Leroy was the only heir and would inherit the property.  After all, “opportunities for the future acquisition of assets” is one of the factors a judge must consider in dividing martial property.

On appeal, however, the court said this was not an equitable way to divide property.

In Mumma v. Mumma, 280 A.2d 73, 76 (D.C. 1971), this court ruled that gifts to the husband from his parents could not be considered in determining his income for purposes of computing his alimony obligation, presumably, because any expectation of gifts is inherently speculative and thus could not be counted upon as a predictable portion of the husband’s annual financial return.  Accord Scott v. Scott, 645 S.W. 2d 193, 198 (Mo. Ct. App. 1982) (despite history of gifts to wife from parents, court property declined to consider “such an uncertain source of funds as future gifts” in computing her alimony award).  The same reasoning is applicable to anticipated gifts of real property or other assets, e.g., though inheritance.

The court recognized decisions from some courts ruling otherwise, but rejected this approach as “mischievous”.

– Gassaway v. Gassaway, 489 A.2d 1073 (D.C. 1985)

Related posts:

  1. Are Gifts Income?
  2. Loans as Income
  3. When Does Property Stop Being Marital?
  4. Grossing Up Income
  5. Is a One Time Capital Gain Income for Child Support?

Are Gifts Income?

January 27th, 2015

Albert  Mumma married Jean in 1952 and they had three children together.   Albert supported the family as an architect.  He had an office in Georgetown.  In 1968 the parties had a violent altercation and they decided to divorce.

The judge awarded $200 a month in alimony and $500 a month in child support to Jean, plus attorney fees and costs.  Albert appealed complaining that he was ordered to pay support of $8,400 a year, while his income was only $9,422 in 1968 and $12,726  in 1969.   Jean countered that, among other things, he received gifts from his parents.

The DC Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, holding that “gifts do not constitute income” and suggested that Albert’s income tax returns would be an appropriate guide to his actual income in the absence of affirmative evidence otherwise.

Mumma v. Mumma, 280 A.2d 73 (1971)

Related posts:

  1. Inheritance as Income
  2. Loans as Income
  3. Grossing Up Income
  4. Going Broke on $1.76 Million a Year
  5. Is a One Time Capital Gain Income for Child Support?

Ringing in the New Year

December 31st, 2014

These celebrities are ringing in the New Year with a divorce:

Chris Rock, 49, comedian and actor, filed for divorce from Malaak Compton-Rock, 45, after 19 years of marriage.  The couple has two daughters, ages 12 and 10.

Giada De Laurentiis, 44, celebrity chef, announced on her Facebook page that she is ending her marriage with fashion designer Todd Thompson.  They have been married 11 years and have one six year old daughter.

Actor, Jeremy Renner, 43, and his wife, Sonni Pacheco, 23, model and actress, are headed for divorce after 10 months of marriage. They have a 21 month old daughter.

What else will 2015 bring?

Related posts:

  1. The Five Year Itch
  2. Prenup Primer
  3. Court Denies Divorce to 80 Year Old Sex Starved Husband
  4. Going Broke on $1.76 Million a Year
  5. Divorce in Maryland if No Sex for a Year

Free Online Pet Nup

December 30th, 2014

Pets can become an issue in a divorce.  Although the parties may treat their pets like children and argue over custody and visitation, the courts do not.  The law views pets as personal propety like a chair or a lamp.

After losing a dog in a divorce, an English lawyer, Vanessa Lloyd Platt, created a “Pet Nup” which sets forth the agreement of the parties with respect to their pets.

You can view and download the Pet Nup for free, but remember it would have to be modified for Maryland, Virginia or DC.

Related posts:

  1. Protect Your Gadgets with an E-Nup
  2. Who Gets Rover?
  3. Free Book on Cheating
  4. Free Guide to Collaborative Divorce
  5. Buy This House and Get a Free Divorce

Would You Want to Date a Lawyer?

December 22nd, 2014

Lawyers came in dead last in popularity in a recent survey by Special Counsel.

They asked people which of the professions would you most want to date?

The results:

  • Doctor (30%)
  • Teacher  (27%)
  • Firefighter (12%)
  • Police Officer (10%)
  • Lawyer (8%)

The survey sample was 1,007 people.

Related posts:

  1. Can I Date?
  2. When a Lawyer Hires a Lawyer
  3. Best Divorce Lawyer’s Card
  4. Lawyer Fees Hit (Gasp!) $1000 an Hour
  5. Cindy McCain and the Maryland Divorce Lawyer

How to Repair Your Credit After Divorce

December 18th, 2014

The good folks at Top Ten Reviews have published a guide on how to repair your credit after various financial disasters.

Chapter 3 covers divorce.

Best of all, the guide is free.

Related posts:

  1. How to Divide Credit Card Debt in a Divorce
  2. Credit Card Companies Can Predict Divorce
  3. Free Guide to Collaborative Divorce
  4. The Divorce Lawyer’s Handbook for Staying Married
  5. Divorce Lawyer Is New Fall Fashion Accessory

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

December 12th, 2014

My oldest son entered high school this year.  He said he likes it.  He is very confident, outgoing and popular.  He takes after his mother.

I told him I didn’t like high school very much.  I was shy, introverted and not a member of “the in crowd”.  I was a geek, a nerd, a brainiac.   I wore thick, horn-rimmed glasses.

I mentioned this conversation to an old friend that I’ve known since high school.  He said, “Really?  But you had it pretty good in high school.”

That set me to thinking.  I was the star of two school plays. I dated the valedictorian of the class ahead of me.  I won an award for poetry and an award for math and science.  I worked as a disc jockey at the local radio station.

He was right.  I had a pretty good time in high school.  I just never knew it.

If you are going through the worst of times due to a divorce or separation, remember, “To change your world, just change your mind.”  You may find yourself going from the worst of times to the best of times.

Related posts:

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  2. Fuzzy Logic
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The Person Who Leaves First, Loses

December 11th, 2014

I have a lawyer friend who likes to argue.  He has picked a good profession for it.  More than a few times, he has had an opposing counsel hang up on him in irritation and frustration.

He doesn’t care.  Under his rules of argument, “The person who hangs up first, loses.”

It occurs to me that this rule may be applied to marriage and relationships as well.  So if you are the one that’s been abandoned or deserted, don’t despair.  The person who left was too irritated or frustrated to hang in there and argue.  The only card left in their hand to play was the leaving card.   They hung up on you.

Just rearrange your thinking to, “The person who leaves first, loses.”

Related posts:

  1. Is Divorce Always the Fault of One Person?
  2. The Deceiver and the Denier
  3. Credit Card Companies Can Predict Divorce
  4. Will I Lose the Marital Home if I Leave?
  5. A Doll’s House

A Perfect Storm

December 4th, 2014

There is a perfect winter storm of depression brewing.  Got the blues?  You are not alone.  There are good reasons you may be feeling sad right now.

Holiday Depression

You may get depressed at this time of year because it reminds you of bad experiences of past holidays.  Or you may get depressed because you have had better holidays in the past.   Or you just may be comparing this holiday to an imagined holiday like the ones in the Norman Rockwell paintings or the happy holidays you think your friends are enjoying.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

At this time of year I’m driving to the office in the dark and driving home from work in the dark.  The days are shorter.  There is less sunlight.  We feel good when we are in the sun.  We feel bad when there is a lack of sunlight.

Divorce Depression

It is usual for people separating and divorcing to feel depressed.  The future is uncertain and scary.  Finances are usually a mess. You may be heartbroken.

So, what can you do, if all three events are hitting you at the same time?  Ride out the storm.  It will take time.  You will have grief.  And pain.  But eventually, the storm will be over, and your new life will make all this seem like a distant memory.

Related posts:

  1. Divorce Is Crazy Time
  2. January Top Month for Divorces
  3. Making the Best of the Holidays After Divorce
  4. January Is Divorce Month
  5. Alone for the Holidays
 
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