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Divorce Lawyers

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.

Archive for January, 2007

Maryland Superlawyers 2007

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

James J. Gross and Lois R. Finkelstein of the law firm of THYDEN GROSS AND CALLAHAN have been named among the Top Attorneys in Maryland by Maryland Superlawyers in its 2007 edition.

Superlawyers were selected by their peers with 21,000 ballots mailed to active lawyers in Maryland. Only five percent of the total lawyers in Maryland were selected.

Gross and Finkelstein were selected in the Family Law Category. Thyden Gross and Callahan provides divorce and family law services to individuals of medium to high net worth clients in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Focus Attention with the Settlement Notebook

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

One advantage of the Settlement Notebook is that it makes everyone focus on the issues. It is a thing you can touch and see and not just a lot of ideas or emotions floating around in the air like so much smoke.

It gets clients to focus. There are hard numbers attached to the statements. The math is clear, not fuzzy. It will point out which documents are missing and which you need to obtain from your client, the other spouse or third parties.

It gets the attorney to focus. Putting the spreadsheet and the notebook together gives me a clear and simple picture of the marital estate. The spreadsheet is a checklist of documents and values to be obtained. It is a checklist of issues to be resolved.

It gets the other side to focus. Once I have the notebook together, I give a copy to my client. Then, with my client’s approval, I give two copies to opposing counsel (one for the lawyer and one for the other party).

The Settlement Notebook

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

The Settlement Notebook is a wonderful device for your divorce case. I use it to organize, settle and try cases. I start each new case with a three-ring notebook and tabbed dividers.

Then I make a spread-sheet with Excel. The first column is sequential numbers. The second is Assets. The third is Husband. The fourth is Wife. The fifth is Total. And the sixth is Comments.

Going down the first column, I list general categories of assets, namely Real Estate, Bank Accounts, Investments, Retirement Funds and Miscellaneous. Then under each category, I identify specific assets, I include a notation of how they are titled, J for jointly, H for husband and W for wife.

I put the values across the columns, usually dividing joint accounts equally in the Husband’s column and the Wife’s column on my first draft. In the Comments column, I put the date of the statement that shows where the values come from.

Then I put the statements behind the tabs that correspond to the first column. Each asset has a number, and each number refers to the tab in the notebook, where I place a copy of the most recent statement supporting the value on the spread sheet.

Usually I put liabilities right below the asset they are attached to with a negative value. For example, I put the mortgage balance right below the residence value.

Then I add up the columns for the Husband, Wife and Total. I also include a percentage that the Wife and Husband have of the total marital estate.

I’ll write more about how to use the Settlement Notebook in future blogs.

 
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