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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 December, 2008

The Divorce Lawyer’s Handbook for Staying Married

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

CHAPTER TWO – SAYING HELLO

Falling in love is as easy as falling off a log.  Staying in love, however, is a decision.  Marriage is hard work.  It takes commitment and compromise.

When you are with someone every day for a long time, you tend to take them for granted.  The problem with this is it makes them feel like you are taking them for granted.

Here is my solution.

Greet your spouse with enthusiasm and energy.  Show them you are happy to see them.  Smile and say “Hello!  How are you, dear?”

Don’t make your first words “What’s for dinner?” or “The kids were terrible today.”  Show your spouse, by your actions and words, that you are happy that you found them and grateful to be married to them.

Celebrate your spouse every time you see them – when you wake up in the morning, when you come home from work or your spouse comes home from work.

By small gestures, strong bonds are made.  It only takes a second, but it takes so little to do so much.  See Chapter One.

Some People Think Now Is the Best Time to Divorce

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

“Are divorces going down in these hard times?”  The question came from a woman at one of the holiday parties upon learning I was a divorce lawyer.

I allowed as how many couples are opting to ride out a bad marriage because they can’t sell the house, or they can’t afford the lawyer fees, or their income won’t cover two households.

“But others,” I said, “find that now is just the right time to get rid of an unwanted spouse.”

“What others?” she inquired of me.

“Why wealthy husbands, for one, with businesses, stock, options and pensions down about 50%, may find this a good time to buy out their spouse for cash at these lower prices, expecting an eventual recovery.”

“And trophy wives, in the face of layoffs and rumors of layoffs, may decide the right time to leave is while their husbands are still employed.”

“I never thought of that,” she nodded, and wandered off to get some more punch.

Coping with the Recession

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Here is some good news for relationships during the recession.

According to Time.Com, the American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a study which correlated market conditions with Playboy centerfolds.

It found that men like fuller-figured women more in lean times than in boom times.

This is perfect because another APA study showed that when stressed, women liked to eat.

Bingo!

Honey, I Spent Too Much Money

Friday, December 26th, 2008

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the economy, Donald Trump says that hard economic times bring out financial infidelity.  Couples are hiding their spending from each other. In a blog called “Cheating with the Checkbook”, Trump says a Harris Interactive survey of nearly 2,000 people in a committed relationship found that 29 percent of them admitted to lying to their partner about their spending habits.  He advises you not to be unfaithful with your finances if you want to have a good partnership.

Alone for the Holidays

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Holidays can be depressing or stressful if you are alone because of the emphasis on families and being together.  But don’t worry.  The folks at PsychCentral.Com have put together this helpful list of ten things to do if you are alone for the holidays.

Divorce Lawyer or Social Worker?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Someone once told me you only have to practice divorce law for six months before you become a social worker.  I like to think I am pretty attuned to the emotional aspects of divorce, but every once in awhile, I get a situation that stumps me.

In those cases, I call on my experts, namely (a) my wife who intuitively knows far more about relationships than I ever will, and (b) a friend who works in sales and is a genius in these matters.  I keep the names confidential but describe the problem to them in general terms.

Today, I got in one of those situations.  I was negotiating by email with a lawyer on a case in litigation.  We were pretty close in dollars to a settlement.

I wrote, “Why don’t we settle this case.”  I was surprised by his answer.

“The problem is the way your client treats me and everyone else connected with me.”

How in the world do you respond to that?  I am trained to solve legal problems.  But this is not a legal problem.  So I ask my experts.

My wife took a practical straightforward approach.  She said I should say, “Look, we all want to get this over as quickly, expeditiously and amicably as possible.”

My friend in sales had another approach.  He suggested “If you will write me about the specifics, I will speak with my client about it.”   Always ask questions.  Sometimes, when the other side has to write it out, and think about it, they look at what they have written and decide it is not all that important anyway.

I decided that both approaches were excellent, so I combined them into one email.  I will be interested to see what response I get.

Equitable Distribution

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

On the twelfth day of Christmas
The Good Court gave to me:
Twelve Years of Alimony
Eleven Grand for Attorneys
Ten Shares of Stock
Nine Options Vesting
Eight Years of Child Support
Seven Rooms of Furniture
Six Sets of China
Five Golden Rings
Four QDRO’s
Three Bank Accounts
Two Used Cars
and Half of the Remaining Equity.

The Stuff That Relationships Are Made Of

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Here’s a cute website called Stuff That’s Left Behind.  People share stories about what they are keeping or getting rid of from the old relationship.

There are different categories, like stuff from the wedding, stuff he left, stuff she left, stuff that makes you cry, stuff that makes you laugh and stuff that’s really ugly.

Then there is a sister site, Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry, where you can sell that jewelry that your ex-husband or boyfriend gave you.

Financial Crisis Impacts Marital Affairs

Friday, December 12th, 2008

According to a survey by Prince & Associates, a Connecticut-based wealth-research firm, more than 80 percent of multimillionaires with extramarital lovers said they planned to cut back on their gifts and allowances; and 12 percent said financial woes are forcing them to give up on the extracurricular activities altogether.

However, Noel Biderman, founder and president of the Ashley Madison Agency, a Web site where married people can go to find extramarital affairs, says “November was far and away our most successful month ever,” he said. “It all comes down to marital discord.”  Biderman attributes his business boom to the sinking economy.

“In a more perfect world, your partner would support you and work with you to find new employment,” Biderman said. “In reality, people tend to point fingers, pass blame, and it’s really hard at that point to seek intimacy. They’re inclined to seek that in someone else who still thinks they’re the cat’s meow.”

No Typical Divorce

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Ever wonder why some people get over a divorce quickly and return to their previous level of function while others seem to crash and burn?

Mark Fine, a research professor at the University of Missouri, says it is because every divorce is different.  There is no such thing as a typical or average divorce.

Divorce can take many pathways and the outcome is influenced by a number of factors, such as race, gender, economic conditions, cultural values, legal context and sociohistorical context.

Fine has developed a model to demonstrate the variation and fluidity of the divorce process and he has written a book about it, “Beyond the Average Divorce”, which will be published next year.

One interesting finding is Fine’s notion that divorce also occurs in  relationships that may not be dissolved legally, but have actually dissolved in reality. Some married couples may stay together due to socioeconomic status or legal costs, but they are still going through the same things as a divorced couple, including trading custody of their children.

 
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