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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.

Archive for May, 2006

Fathers Treated Unfairly?

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

More than 81% of responders said divorce courts do not treat fathers fairly in a survey by Among the topics of contention are automatic shared custody, relocation, child support and parental alienation. However, reality may be different than perception. The website points out that all states have gender neutral custody laws now and the number of single fathers raising children is growing at a faster rate than the number of single mothers raising children.

Marriage Odds Improve

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Newsweek said twenty years ago that a 40 year old single woman was more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to ever get married. However, in its June issue Newsweek calculates that the odds are actually about 50/50. And 8 out of the 11 women it found that were in the story twenty years ago, are married today.

Divorce Quote

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

“Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.”
– Phyllis Diller”

Collaborative Law

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, Inc. held its 8th Annual Maryland Partners for Justice Conference in Baltimore last week and asked me to speak about Collaborative Law.

Collaborative Law is one of the methods of getting to an agreement invented by Stu Webb and popularized by Pauline Tessler.

We brought it to Maryland, Virginia and DC when a group of lawyers founded the Collaborative Law Society and held our first training in 2002.

Collaborative Law is problem solving instead of fighting. The elements of Collaborative Law are:

(1) the lawyers only focus on settlement of your case and must withdraw if the parties decide to litigate.

(2) open and complete disclosure.

(3) negotiation proceeds by four-way meetings (lawyers and parties) which are planned and discussed in advance and afterwards.

(4) lawyers may consider long term goals of clients, such as keeping harmony in the family after the divorce, as well as short-term and monetary goals.

It is not for everyone, but it has worked quite well in all the cases I have handled or heard about.


Saturday, May 13th, 2006

You will probably wish your mother Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow but what about your ex-mother-in-law?

Are former in-laws just supposed to disappear after a divorce? It sometimes seems that way, either because you are persona non grata, or because you feel uncomfortable being around them.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Amy Dickinson in this article suggests sending cards, letters or emails and checking in from time to time at special times to honor these relationships.

Online Help for Do It Yourself Divorce

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

More courts are providing divorce forms online according to this article in Lawyers USA by Nora Lockwood Tooher. High attorney fees and a complex legal system are driving the demand. Some 67% of divorces in Maryland and 85% of divorces in Baltimore have at least one party unrepresented. Yours truly is quoted in the article:

“James Gross, a Chevy Chase, Md. divorce lawyer who has written books and conducts classes on do-it-yourself divorce, said pro se divorce makes sense in certain cases. They’re very good for people who don’t have complications – no children, assets, debts, pensions or real estate,” he said.

You can find the court forms on our website.

The Meaning of Separation

Monday, May 8th, 2006

The word “separation” causes some confusion because it is used in three different contexts in Maryland.

1. Separation is one of the no-fault grounds for divorce in Maryland. It can be voluntary separation for one year, meaning you both agree, or involuntary separation for two years, meaning one of you disagrees. In this context separation means physical separation or living in two different places.

2. A separation agreement is a written contract between spouses. It is a marital settlement agreement resolving all issues of the marriage and divorce.

3. People sometimes use the term “legal separation.” In the District of Columbia, a legal separation is a court proceeding to establish temporary support or visitation. In Maryland, we have a similar proceeding, but it is called a limited divorce.

I Can’t Afford My Wife

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

My wife saw this study on the news the other night claiming that a stay at home mom is worth $134,121 a year. That was the value of her services if I had to buy them on the open market.

To try to refute this, I did a bit of Internet searching and came across an article by Pat Gaudette, the About.Com Guide for divorce, entitled What Is a Stay-At-Home Wife Worth?, in which she says:

“According to a story which appeared in the May 99 issue of the Washington Post, $508,700 a year might be a good estimate of a wife’s worth. That figure was according to a study by Edelman Financial Services Inc, based in Fairfax, VA. The study used as its basis 17 occupations that wives and mothers typically perform and each job’s median salary. According to Ric Edelman, chairman of Edelman Financial Services, the figure doesn’t include retirement benefits which would increase the bottom line value of a wife to about a million dollars a year. With inflation, those 1999 figures would be considerably higher if recalculated today.”

Ouch! I can’t afford my wife.

Celebrity Divorce News

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

Fame and fortune does not buy happiness nor immunity from divorce. Here’s a review of this week’s celebrity divorce news.

SLASH of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver filed for divorce from his wife, PERLA, on April 27th in Los Angles. This is Slash’s second marriage. The couple were married in Maui in 1997. They have two children, London Hudson, born in 2002 and Cash Anthony Hudson, born in 2004.

DONNA D’ERRICO, 38, former “Baywatch” star and Playboy Playmate, filed for divorce in Los Angeles from her husband, NIKKI SIXX, base player for Motley Crue. Sixx was formerly married to Playboy Playmate BRANDI BRANDT. D’Errico is asking for custody of their 5-year-old daugther and her 13-year-old son from another relationship.

KIM MATHERS has filed a response and counter-complaint in the divorce filed April 5th by EMIMEM, rap superstar. She seeks’s joint custody of their 10-year-old daughter, HAILIE JADE SCOTT.

NICK LACHEY’S new single and video “What’s Left of Me” will be released May 9th about the breakup of his marriage with JESSICA SIMPSON. In Touch Magazine claims that Jessica is worried Nick is using the divorce to sell records.

MARTIN SHEEN says that he is trying to become the calming voice in the fierce divorce between his son CHARLIE SHEEN and DENISE RICHARDS. He said, “I asked all sides to stop for a minute, to have a cease fire, to heal the wounds and put the fires out and come together a little bit because what’s really at stake are the future of these little kids, LOLA and SAM, so that’s who we have to focus on right now.”


Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

I am off to depositions this morning. Depositions are a discovery tool in which the lawyer asks questions of a witness, usually the husband or wife on the other side of the case, under oath. A reporter takes down the examination and produces a transcript that may be used at trial.

They usually start with the lawyer saying something like “I am not trying to trick you. If I ask a question you don’t understand just tell me and I will rephrase it.” Then the lawyer will begin asking questions that try to trick you.

The single best tip I can give you a deposition is this. Repeat the question in the form of a sentence, give the answer and then stop and wait for the next question.

If the lawyer says “Where were you on the night of July 14th?” You say “On the night of July 14th I was … at home watching television.”

This will give you time to think, focus your answer and prevent you from rambling.

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