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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.

Divorce Quotes

October 2nd, 2015

“Let miracles replace all grievances.” — A Course in Miracles

It’s Either Me or the Moustache

October 1st, 2015


In Algeria, we hear that a woman has filed for divorce after three months of marriage because her husband will not shave his moustache.

I guess she has never heard the old French idiom:

“Un baiser sans moustache est comme un œuf sans sel!”

(“A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt!”)

Backup Husband

September 25th, 2015

In a survey of 1,000 married women, the Daily Mail found that half of them have a “fall-back” partner in case their marriage doesn’t work out.

Backups included ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, colleagues and friends from the gym. Ten percent said the backup already confessed their love and twenty percent said the backup would drop everything if required. The most common backup was a man the wife had known for around seven years.

No word on whether married men should have a backup wife.

Book Titles I Wish I’d Thought Of

September 15th, 2015

You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married)


Dana Adam Shapiro

Divorce Care Basket

September 9th, 2015

Gail Saukus, Office Manager for Divorce Attorneys for Women (DAWN) suggests a Divorce Care Basket for someone going through a divorce. She says the basket can include:

  • Comfort. Tea, a pillow, a snuggly, chocolate.
  • Help. Offer to do housecleaning, laundry, babysit.
  • Distractions. Paperback, movie, DVD, girls night out.
  • Beauty. New lipstick or balm, a mani-ped, a facial, a new scarf or earrings.

Let me add that men will appreciate a Divorce Care Basket, too. And my new book, It’s Splitsville, would make an excellent addition to the basket.

Terms and Conditions Unspoken

September 3rd, 2015

When two people enter into a business deal, they usually negotiate and put their agreement in writing so there will be no misunderstandings. Not so, says divorce attorney, Larry Frolick, in the case of a marriage. Frolick describes the unspoken terms and conditions that Mary and Joe think they have in their marriage contract. Perhaps not surprisingly, their terms and conditions are different.

Mary: I’ll love you (and sleep with you and nobody else, listen to your problems and try to help [as long as they are not too overwhelming and especially if they don’t remind me of my alcoholic father’s problems] and keep you company on most weekends [unless the business I intend to start in 36 months takes off and gets me out of town, and unless my sisters call for a family emergency that will take precedence over any situation here, except your heart attack or other life threatening disease]), and I’ll continue to work at my (boring) job to pay for our (first) house (but only for two years after which I expect [based on what you bragged about when we were drinking orange juice and champagne with the Fergusons], that you will start earning $100,000 by then), when we will move to a house (at least as good as my parents’ and in a comparable neighborhood) and have a baby (who had better not remind me, as she grows up, of your mother, whom you’d better stop defending pretty quickly) who will be like me (but who will not be forced into things by her family, like having to escape because they are so demanding and unreasonable) etc., etc.

Joe: I chose to marry you, Mary, because you’re calmer and more deliberate than my mother, so don’t you dare ever do anything that reminds me of her, and especially when I go fishing every spring like my dad, and don’t freak out like she did, about leaving her alone on weekends É etc., etc.

Side Deals.  Then there are the unspoken side deals with third parties: “This marriage doesn’t mean, Mom, that I won’t come home every Thanksgiving for the rest of my life, and sleep in my room and overlook Dad’s fooling around with Mrs. Carter in our little family game we know so well, and I’ll continue to be your little girl/boy, etc.”

Ashley Madison and Grounds for Divorce

August 28th, 2015

Do you have grounds for divorce if you find your spouse among the 37 million hacked users of Ashley Madison, the dating website for married people looking to cheat?

In DC, the answer is no. There are only two grounds for divorce in DC — six months voluntary separation or twelve months involuntary separation. But the court must still consider marital fault, among other factors, in deciding alimony and property distribution.

Maryland and Virginia have fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Adultery is a fault ground in both states. Using Ashley Madison by itself does not prove your spouse has committed adultery. But it is probably enough to plead adultery in a complaint for divorce. Then you have to obtain the evidence. You can use then use the court discovery rules to ask your spouse directly. Your spouse must answer under oath and penalties of perjury.

Your spouse may take the Fifth Amendment but the divorce court is allowed to presume this means that adultery was committed. And some spouses will lie. In addition, Maryland and Virginia require corroboration of the adultery by independent evidence. So you may still have to hire a private investigator to follow your spouse.

Despite what you see in the movies, the private eye doesn’t usually burst into the hotel room with a camera. You can use circumstantial evidence to prove adultery with inclination and opportunity.
The testimony for inclination might be, “I saw them holding hands at dinner and watched them go into a hotel.”

For opportunity, the detective would say, “I put a chalk mark on the tire of the car in the parking lot and it was in the same place when I returned in the morning.”

Ashley Madison Hack Spurs Divorces

August 21st, 2015

Divorce lawyers are seeing an upsurge in business as a result of the hack attack on the Ashley Madison Internet dating site for married people.

The hackers posted names, street and email addresses and payments for millions of users, mostly men, since 2007.

“There’s definitely going to be a lot of people calling me in and wanting to quote-unquote know their rights,” Jacqueline Newman, a New York City lawyer, told Huffington Post.

Can Alimony Be Longer Than The Marriage?

July 29th, 2015

Dr. Murray Malin, an anesthesiologist, was 38 when he met Marcie Minenberg, 27. She went to law school but did not pass the bar exam and was working in a jewelry store. They wed, had one child, and divorced in Maryland after three years of marriage. At the time of trial, Murray had stopped practicing as a doctor due to a drug addiction.

The trial court awarded Marcie alimony of $3,500 a month, non-taxable to her, for five years. Murray appealed arguing that (1) the court could not award alimony that was non-taxable and (2) the court could not award alimony for longer than the marriage.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals agreed with Murray that the only alimony a court can award is taxable alimony. Parties can make alimony non-taxable, but only by agreement.

As for the length of alimony, the appeals court said there was no law against alimony that lasts longer than the marriage.

Malin v. Mininberg, 153 Md. App. 358, 837 A.2d 178 (2003)

Country Stars Divorce

July 24th, 2015

Country music stars Blake Shelton, 39, and Miranda Lambert, 31, announced their divorce this week after four years of marriage.

This was not like your mama’s broken heart.  There were rumors of cheating, denied by both.

The tabloids said Blake was mixed up with another woman.  I imagine her lips tasted like Sangria.

But rumors also surfaced that Miranda was involved with country singer Chris Young.

Young said “Aw naw, to another I will be true.”

© 2015 Thyden Gross and Callahan LLP. All rights reserved.