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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.

Give Thanks for Your Enemies

November 25th, 2014

With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to write about something to be grateful for even if you are in the middle of a divorce or custody battle.  In the past I have told you how you should be thankful for the problems that life gives you to solve, what to be thankful for, and the things you can learn from a divorce.  Today I write about being thankful for your enemies.

Life is a story with yourself as the protagonist.  And we meet different characters who are allies or enemies.  It is easy to be grateful for our friends and mentors.

Surprisingly, I also have a great deal to be thankful for from my enemies.  The worst boss I ever had as a lawyer was sadistic.  It wasn’t a good day for him unless he brought a little rain into someone’s life.  He drove me and his other lawyers to work 80 hours a week.  But there was no pleasing him.  Once I asked him what priority to give to two tasks he assigned me.  He said, “The first is priority 1, and the second is priority A.”

And yet I learned a great deal from him.  I learned how to write a business letter and a contract.  I learned how to make a business presentation.  I learned how to confront and attack my work.  I learned how to deal with adversity, stand up to bullies, and stay calm in a legal fight.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back on it now, it occurs to me that you can learn as much or more from your enemies as you can from your friends.

Related posts:

  1. Thanks for the Divorce
  2. A Divorce Lawyer’s Thanksgiving
  3. Karma and Mr. Shiply
  4. The Unhappiness Gap
  5. A Divorce Lawyer’s Thanksgiving

Who Is Right and Who Is Wrong?

November 19th, 2014

While driving to the office this morning, I turned on “The Kane Show” on Hot99.5 FM.  Kane invited callers to tell him and his entourage about a relationship dispute and they would decide who was right and who was wrong.

What a great idea!  I have often said that people in relationships have different agendas and they need a good conflict resolution system.

Marriage counselors can help, but they cost money, and frequently tell you that you are both right (in alternative universes?), which may be true, but is not very satisfying.

Divorce is the ultimate conflict resolution system, but it has some serious drawbacks.  It’s expensive and time-consuming.  Sometimes the judge doesn’t tell you who was right and who was wrong.  And even when the judge does tell you, the judge frequently gets it wrong.

So we have decided, as a public service, that you can post your relationship conflicts in the comments section, and we will tell you who is right and who is wrong.  We reserve the right to be arbitrary and capricious, but at least it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Related posts:

  1. Uh, Oh, I Chose the Wrong Attorney
  2. Right or Wrong?
  3. Conflict Resolution System
  4. Marriage Problems
  5. Impasse

When Even a Billion Dollars Is Not Enough

November 14th, 2014

Sue Ann Ham was awarded nearly a billion dollars in her divorce from energy tycoon Harold Hamm in Oklahoma.

But her attorney says that’s less than 6 percent of the couple’s estimated $18 billion wealth.

She is planning to appeal.   More.

Related posts:

  1. Multi-Billion Dollar Divorce
  2. Billion Dollar Divorce
  3. Most Expensive Divorce Ever
  4. Accrued Leave
  5. All Divorce Dollars Are Not Equal

Divorce Classes

October 31st, 2014

We have court-ordered parenting classes for people going through divorce in Maryland, but Oklahoma is trying something different.  Their classes will discuss divorce and emphasize reconciliation in an attempt to convince people to stay married.

State Senator Rob Standridge, who sponsored the new law, says not every marriage can be saved, and the law is not designed to force couples to stay together.  But some couples can successfully reconcile and that may be best for their children.

Do you think we ought to try something like this in Maryland?

Related posts:

  1. Divorce Advice
  2. Online Help for Do It Yourself Divorce
  3. Substance, Processes, and Values in Divorce
  4. A Divorce Coach for Free
  5. Stays

Divorce Quotes

October 30th, 2014

“Basically it costs as much to get unmarried as it does to get married.” Bruce Cameron, Cameron Law PLLC, The Huffington Post

Related posts:

  1. Celebrity Divorce News
  2. Divorce Quotes
  3. Billionaire Divorce Stats
  4. Divorce Quotes
  5. The High Cost of Divorce

They Never Mentioned That in School

October 29th, 2014

When I was a chemical engineering student, we used slide rules and stayed up all night to work out problems with accuracy to the third decimal point.

My first job out of school was with Proctor & Gamble.  I was assigned to design a Toluene storage system.  Toluene is a toxic, highly flammable, liquid chemical used in making soap.

I used temperature and pressure to calculate the volume of the tank we needed to store the Toluene within three decimal points.

I gave the numbers to Tom, the flat-topped, draftsman with horn-rim glasses, assigned to draw up my design.  Tom was more experienced than me.  He took my number and multiplied it by one and a half.

“Why’d you do that?” I asked.

“To give us a margin of safety.”

They never mentioned that last part in engineering school.

When I was in law school, we learned that a court obtains personal jurisdiction over a person through service of process, which is governed by a detailed and arcane set of rules.  If a litigant fails to follow these rules, you can file a motion to dismiss based on lack of service of process.  You do this by a “special appearance” which allows you to appear in court to argue your motion without submitting yourself to the jurisdiction of the court.

I filed a motion to dismiss for lack of service of process in a case recently by special appearance.  The judge made a “finding” that, even if my client was not properly served, he had actual notice of the complaint, and therefore my motion was denied.

They never mentioned that last part in law school.

Related posts:

  1. Certificate of Service
  2. Service of Process
  3. Racing to the Courthouse
  4. What to Do if Your Spouse is Evading Service
  5. How to Request a Hearing

How to Put Your Divorce in Perspective

October 24th, 2014

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”—Mark Twain

Related posts:

  1. Happy April Fool’s Day
  2. Sorting Out Grounds for Divorce
  3. The Divorce Lawyer’s Handbook for Staying Married
  4. Why the Sopranos Ending Reminds Me of a Divorce
  5. Where to Find the Law

Legal Fees

October 14th, 2014

Divorce lawyer Morris Green answered his phone on the second ring as was his custom.

“Morris!,” said the angry voice on the other end, “This is Ivana Copernica.  I’m calling you about your client, Stanton Fields.  Did you know that he has taken $10,000 out of his pension plan?”

“Yes, I did know,” Green replied calmly.

“He can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s marital property and my client did not agree,” said Ivana.

“I don’t think that your client’s consent is required.  Marital funds are expended by one party or the other in almost every divorce.  Unless they have separate property, that’s how they pay their living expenses.”

“What did he spend $10,000 on?” inquired Ivana.

“Why, his legal fees, of course.”

“Legal fees are not a marital expense.  That is a dissipation of marital assets and we’re going to ask the court to make him put those fees back in the pension account,” snapped Ivana.

“Before you do that, Ivana, better read the Allison case.  I’ll email it to you.  Let me read you the holding.  ‘We hold that when, as here, a spouse uses marital property to pay his or her own reasonable attorney’s fees, such expenditures do not constitute dissipation of marital assets.’”

Allison v. Allison, 160 Md. App. 331, 864 A.2d 191 (2004)

Related posts:

  1. Reasonable Legal Fees for a Divorce –Oxymoron?
  2. $36 Million in Legal Fees and Still Fighting
  3. On Marital and Nonmarital Assets
  4. Negotiation Tip: Listen for Leakage
  5. No Negative Marital Property

Divorces and Wedding Expenses

October 9th, 2014

A study out of Emory University by Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon takes a look at wedding expenses and divorces and finds some interesting relationships.

You are more likely to get a divorce if you spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on a wedding ring than those who spent more than $4,000 or less than $2,000.

People who spent $20,000 or more on the wedding were more likely to get a divorce than those who spent less than $10,000.

Related posts:

  1. Black Wedding Dress
  2. January Top Month for Divorces
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  4. Robot Performs Wedding
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How to Request a Hearing

October 7th, 2014

If you think it’s easy being a lawyer, listen to this.  We have to be aware of a multitude of laws, cases, rules and regulations.  And they keep changing.

If you want a hearing on a motion or response to a motion, Md. Rule 2-311(f) requires  you to request it in the motion or response under the heading “Request for Hearing”.   The court can decide whether or not to hold a hearing, but it cannot dispose of a claim or defense without a hearing if one was requested.

However, in 2011, the Rules Committee added another sentence to the rule.  The new sentence says, “The title of the motion or response shall state that a hearing is requested.”  So now you have to put the request for a hearing in the body of the motion or response under the proper heading, and in the title as well – or you might not get your hearing!

Related posts:

  1. Redlining Amended Pleadings
  2. Checklist for DC Uncontested Divorce Hearing
  3. Subpoena!
  4. Equitable Distribution in North Carolina
  5. Late Counterclaim
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