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Divorce Lawyers

Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law



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.

Spurious Correlations

July 8th, 2014

I read today that heavy use of social media correlates well with the divorce rate.  I’m thinking is it social media that creates marital difficulty or is it people who are in unhappy marriages spend more time on social media?  Which is the cause and which is the effect?

Statisticians say that correlation does not imply causation.  Tyler Vigen, a Harvard Law student, posts daily graphs at Spurious Correlations that show some interesting relationships between random data.

For example the more lawyers there are in Virginia, the lower the number of divorces becomes. And the divorce rate in Maine closely matches the graph for the consumption of Margarine there.

You can also use the generator at the site to make your own spurious correlations.

Related posts:

  1. Social Media Prenups
  2. Divorce and Housework
  3. Social Media Clauses in Separation Agreements
  4. Subprime Mortgages and Divorce
  5. Divorce Stats

Facebook Predicts Which Relationships Will Last

July 7th, 2014

Facebook has developed an algorithm that predicts whether your relationship will last or not. Researchers looked at 1.3 million Facebook users to determine their “dispersion”.

Dispersion is the extent of overlap in two people’s mutual friends. If you have high dispersion, you each have your own set of friends. Low dispersion means your friends are friends with one another.

High dispersion relationships are likely to last, but low dispersion relationships tended to be over in about two months. The conclusion is that you are more likely to have a strong relationship if you each maintain your own separate circle of friends.

Related posts:

  1. Husband Forgets to Update Facebook Status
  2. Facebook Made Me Do It
  3. First Facebook Divorce
  4. Heavy Drinking Is Divorce Predictor
  5. The Museum of Broken Relationships

Social Media Prenups

June 25th, 2014

Prenuptial agreements, and postnuptial agreements, are used to determine financial aspects of a marriage or divorce.  But you can also add lifestyle clauses to deal with non-financial matters as well.  The Weinberger Law Group suggests a social media clause.

A social media prenup clause would provide that neither party would put any negative, disparaging, embarrassing, insulting or unflattering content on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.  You might agree not to post photos of the children or anything about family finances.  Some couples agree they will not post anything about each other on social media in the event of divorce.

Something to think about in the wired world we live in.

Related posts:

  1. Social Media Clauses in Separation Agreements
  2. Twitter Widow
  3. Prenup Lifestyle Clauses
  4. Spurious Correlations
  5. Postnuptial Agreements

Persuasion by Silence

June 6th, 2014

Silence can be useful in negotiations.

Someone once said what I didn’t say in my letters was more important than what I did say. They were obviously reading my silent message in the blanks between the lines.

Here is a good example of how to use silence from David Mamet’s play, Glenngary Glen Ross:


Now I handed

them the pen. I held it in my hand.

I turned the contract, eight units

eighty-two grand. “Now I want you

to sign.”


I sat there. Five minutes. Then,

I sat there, Ricky, twenty-two

minutes by the kitchen clock.


Twenty-two minutes by the kitchen

clock. Not a word, not a motion.

I have seen clients reject reasonable proposals, not for the message, but for the way in which the message is delivered.  It is better if you can help the other side, opposing counsel, a judge or a jury come to the right conclusion on their own rather than telling them what it is. These limericks will show you what I mean.

“There once was a poet from Peru,

Whose limericks ended at line two.”

“There once was a poet from Verdun…”

Related posts:

  1. Impasse
  2. When Process is More Important Than Price
  3. Lawyer Time and the Theory of Relativity
  4. Marriage Odds Improve
  5. Negotiation Tip: The Door to Settlement

Using Bitcoin to Hide Assets

June 4th, 2014

Bitcoin, a digital currency, can be used to hide assets in a divorce, warns Jane Croft in the Financial Times.  Dishonest spouses are failing to disclose Bitcoin investments.  Unlike bank accounts or stock, it is harder to link Bitcoin investments to a particular person. There are also online forum discussions on how to use Bitcoin to hide wealth. Divorce lawyers are starting to add questions about digital currencies to their discovery requests.

Related posts:

  1. Why We Hire Experts to Value Assets
  2. On Marital and Nonmarital Assets
  3. How to Say I Want a Divorce
  4. No Negative Marital Property
  5. 2009 Gift Tax Exemption

Divorce Tattoos

May 23rd, 2014

The Times of India reports that some divorcees are now celebrating the end of a marriage by getting a tattoo.  They see their divorce as a milestone.  The tattoos sometimes take the form of messages in large letters, done with the intention of inspiring and encouraging the wearer to get through bad times.

Related posts:

  1. Where to Find the Law
  2. Another Way to Say You Want a Divorce
  3. New Book on Divorce by James J. Gross
  4. Will Maryland Grant a Gay Divorce?
  5. Sorting Out Grounds for Divorce

Most Expensive Divorce Ever

May 22nd, 2014

Dmitry Rybolovlev, one of the richest people in Russia, is about to set the record for most expensive divorce.  A Swiss judge has ordered Dmitry to pay his ex-wife Elena a $4.5 billion divorce settlement.  Dmitry became a billionaire by privatizing a fertilizer plant in Russia.  His net worth is estimated at $8.8 billion.

The judge also gave Elena ownership of real estate in Switzerland worth $145 million and custody of their 13 year old daughter.  Elena and Dmitry met as students and had been married since 1987.

The previous record is held by Rupert Murdoch.  Rupert paid $1.7 billion to his ex-wife Anna in 1991 in cash and Newscorp stock.

Related posts:

  1. Multi-Billion Dollar Divorce
  2. Sylvester and Amaryllis – Who Won?
  3. Husband Pays Ex $2.7 Million for Half of Maddoff Fund
  4. Marital Award
  5. Marital Debt

Indefinite Alimony for 57 Year Old Wife

May 19th, 2014

George and Betty Lou Blake had been married for 37 years. He was 56 and she was 57 when they got divorced. He made $42,500 a year and she made $20,000 a year.

Courts now favor rehabilitative alimony for a set period rather than indefinite alimony, but there are two exceptions. The judge granted Betty indefinite alimony and the appeals court affirmed.

Since George made twice as much as Betty, the judge might have applied the second exception to rehabilitative alimony and given Betty indefinite alimony on the basis of unconscionable disparity.

Instead, the judge applied the second exception, finding that in view of her age and, given the time necessary for further education or training, “I don’t know that there’s a whole lot more that she can do. She’s doing the best she can.”

Blake v. Blake, 81 Md. App. 712, 569 A.2d 724 (1990)

Related posts:

  1. Rehabilitative or Indefinite Alimony?
  2. The Indefinite Alimony Exceptions
  3. The Difference Between Statutory and Pendente Lite Alimony
  4. Going Broke on $1.76 Million a Year
  5. Belly Dancing Reduces Alimony

IRS Loses Millions in False Alimony Deductions

May 16th, 2014

When someone pays alimony they get a tax deduction for it. But the same amount should be included as taxable income on the return of the person receiving alimony. I think most divorce lawyers believed, and cautioned their clients that the IRS computers will automatically detect any variances and flag the returns. It turns out the IRS computers are not that good.

The inspector general for the IRS has issued a report, according to the Washington Times, that the U.S. government loses hundreds of millions of dollars a year in false alimony deductions. The report says that the IRS doesn’t have a system for detecting the false claims. 47 percent of returns filed in 2010 got it wrong said the inspector general.

Most cases involved a deduction for alimony without matching income on the recipient’s return. In other cases, taxpayers did not report who they were paying alimony to or gave a false taxpayer identification number for the recipient. “Apart from examining a small number of tax returns, the IRS generally has no processes or procedures to address this substantial compliance gap,” the report said.

Related posts:

  1. Tax Planning for Divorce (Part 5-Payments to Your Ex)
  2. IRS Audits Catch More Alimony Errors
  3. When Alimony Is Not Alimony
  4. Divorce and Tax Planning
  5. IRS Guide for Divorce or Separated Individuals

Donald Sterling May Use Divorce as a Legal Strategy

May 6th, 2014

TGC Attorney Nelson Garcia appeared on CNN’s Situation Room to discuss how Donald Sterling may use filing for divorce as a legal tactic.  The objective would be to tie up the property in divorce court and slow down the NBA efforts to force him to sell the LA Clippers basketball team.

Related posts:

  1. Exit Strategy
  2. Tax Planning for Divorce (Part 6-Asset Transfers)
  3. Efficient Legal Services
  4. New Law Allows Court to Transfer Marital Home
  5. Welcome to Maryland Divorce Legal Crier
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