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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 July, 2008

Divorce Is Crazy Time

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

?“I remember clearly those awful days during my divorce where I would literally feel sick to my stomach. It seemed like the pain would never go away. The divorce consumed my life at the time and wondered if I would ever feel good again.” – Christina Rowe

Anxiety is a common human emotion. People will find something to worry about even when times are good. When going through a divorce, you will find many things to worry about, and you will have good reason to worry. Even if I tell you not to worry, you will worry.

Depression is another fairly common experience in divorce. If you are going through a divorce and you feel uncertain, insecure, or depressed, then you have a normal problem. But if you are going through a divorce and you feel no uncertainty, insecurity, or depression, then you may have a bigger problem.

Divorce is crazy time. When going through a divorce:

Your ears don’t work.
Your eyes don’t work.
Your mouth doesn’t work.
Your head doesn’t work.

You may not hear or understand everything that is said, you don’t always say what you mean, you may not perceive things correctly, and you may exercise poor judgment.

So if you are feeling depressed right now, or anxious, or crazy, welcome to the club. You are not alone. In fact, you may be joining the majority. And while this is not a particularly pleasant life lesson, you will survive it, and become much stronger and wiser in the process.

Divorce Quotes

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

“My wife says I never listen to her…or something like that.”

– Glenn Davis

Divorce Strategies

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

?Which strategies do people and their lawyers employ during divorces? There are only two social strategies that human beings use, according to Herb Guggenheim writing for CapitalM, the local Mensa newsletter. Those strategies are:

1. Reciprocal Altruism.

This approach is based on the idea that if you do kind things for other people, they will do kind things for you. It is the psychological equivalent of the Golden Rule, that is do unto others that which you would have them do unto you. It is the American cliche, “You pat my back and I’ll pat yours.” It is the French saying, “You send the elevator up to me and I’ll send it back down to you.”

2. I’m Only in It for Myself.

These people see the world as a hostile place. It is dog eat dog. Only the strong survive. These social Darwinist believe that while the inferior, weak people are busy being nice to each other, they will swoop down and take what they want, when they want, no matter what the consequences may be.

If both parties use Reciprocal Altruism, the divorce can be settled rather handily. If both are using I’m Only in It for Myself, then it seems they are destined to have a long and costly litigation. What happens if they are each using a different strategy? It seems to me, the I’m Only in It for Myself strategist will walk all over the Reciprocal Altruism strategist and end up with the better part of the marital estate. Guggenheim says, that while he can sleep better at night as a Reciprocal Altruist, it is his observation that people who take what they want seldom suffer for it.

Perhaps the best strategy is a blend of both. Focus on what you want and ask for it. Be polite but firm in the asking — an iron fist in a velvet glove. Like the Eagle on the Quarter, hold out the olive branch in one hand (settlement) and the arrows in the other (litigation). Then your spouse can decide which strategy it is going to be.

Is Peter Cook a Bad Father?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

TGC Attorney, Nelson Garcia, appeared on WUSA TV Channel 9 News yesterday to discuss the Christie Brinkley vs. Peter Cook divorce case with Derrick McGinty. “Being a bad spouse,” Nelson said, “doesn’t necessarily make you a bad father. The judge has to consider parenting skills, not marital misconduct, in determining what’s in the best interests of the children.”

Marriage Tips for Men – How to Be Emotionally Available

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Sometimes a divorce client of mine will tell me her husband is “not emotionally available.” I always nod my head like I understand, but to tell you the truth I have no idea what those words mean.

I know what emotion is. I know the difference between Spock and McCoy on Start Trek. Spock is a Vulcan ruled by logic with no emotions at all. McCoy is the ship doctor who is caring and compassionate. Captain Kirk embodies the best of both.

I know what it means to be available or not. But put those words together and I, like most males, am dumbfounded. We have a hard time getting our brains around the concept. I kid my wife sometimes that women should come with a translation book.

I happened to mention this at the old boy’s club, which in my case is the gym where I play racketball. All the guys there agreed they had been told they were emotionally unavailable by a woman at some point in their lives, but no one knew what it meant.

Except David. David is in sales and marketing and has taken a lot of seminars. Therefore he is wise in the ways of the world. To our surprise, David said, “Oh, I know what it means.” A hush fell over the court as we listened intently.

“Every morning when I wake up I say the same thing to my wife. I go through a litany. I have it memorized. It goes like this.”

“Oh, darling, you are so beautiful. You are the most beautiful woman in the world. I am so lucky you married me. You look so good today. I’m not sure I’m going to let you go to work. Someone might try to steal you away from me.”

I blinked. I blinked again. “That’s it? That’s all there is to it?”

“Try it,” he said. “I guarantee you will never be called emotionally unavailable again.”

Divorce Waiting Period

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

We used to only have fault grounds for divorce like adultery, desertion and cruelty. Maryland and Virginia have added no fault grounds based on a period of physical separation. DC has done away with fault grounds and gone all the way to no fault grounds.

Maryland has the longest waiting period for a no fault divorce. It is one year if you both agree and two years if one of you does not agree.

Virginia is six months if there are no children and a full agreement, otherwise one year.

D.C. is six months if you both agree, and one year if one of you disagrees.

Here is a chart showing the waiting requirements in all the states. Interestingly, there is no correlation between waiting period and number of divorces. DC still has the lowest divorce rate at 1.7 per thousand people.

 
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