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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 March, 2009

Racing to the Courthouse

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Woodcock lived in Wicomico County, Maryland, until Mrs. Woodcock left the marital residence and moved to her parent’s home in Baltimore.  She filed for alimony in Baltimore claiming that Mr. Woodcock had forced her to move out.

Upon being served with the complaint, Mr. Woodcock filed his complaint for divorce based on desertion in Wicomico County and a motion to dismiss his wife’s suit in Baltimore for lack of jurisdiction.

The Baltimore judge said that the general rule in the statute is that a suit must be filed in the county where the defendant resides.  An exception to the general rule is a suit for divorce which may be brought in the county where either party resides.  When two courts have jurisdiction over a case, the first court keeps the case and a second court cannot interfere.  Since Mrs. Woodcock filed first, she should have won.

However, Mrs. Woodcock had filed a suit for alimony, not divorce, which fell within the general rule so it should have been filed in her husband’s county.  The Baltimore judge dismissed her complaint for alimony and gave her permission to refile an amended complaint for divorce, which she did.

The husband appealed and the Maryland Court of Appeals said slow down.  Since the first case for alimony was filed in the wrong county, it didn’t count.  That meant the Wicomico court had jurisdiction over the case when the husband filed for divorce there.  And the Baltimore court couldn’t get it back by an amendment to the alimony complaint.

Woodcock v. Woodcock, 169 Md. 40; 179 A. 826 (1935)

Math Model Predicts Divorce

Friday, March 27th, 2009

I knew I should have paid more attention in math class.

Oxford Professor, James Murray, claims he has developed a mathematical model to predict divorce, according to an AFP article.

Murray and his team studied 700 new marriages for a twelve year period.  They filmed the couples discussing issues like sex or money for fifteen minutes.  Then they gave grades for each statement.  Humor and affection got positive scores.  Anger or defensiveness got negative scores.

The scores were used to predict the likelihood of divorce.  The couples were then contacted every two years to see if they were still together or not.   The results?  Murray’s formula was correct 94% of the time.

TGC Lawyers in the News

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

“We will reserve our comments for the court.”  – Lois Finkelstein in “NBA Star Bosh Bashed in Suit for Child Support” by Caryn Tamber of The Daily Record, March 26, 2009.

Nelson Garcia will be on “News Nine” with Andrea Roane (WUSA 9 TV) to discuss the effect of taxes and the economy on divorce, at 9:00 a.m. Friday, March 27, 2009.

James J. Gross was interviewed by KMOX Radio on “Divorce in a Recession”, March 2, 2009.

Court Denies Divorce to 80 Year Old Sex Starved Husband

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Obert Manjengwa, 80, of Zimbawe filed a complaint for divorce age because he said he and his wife had no sexual relations for seven years.

Now he said he was getting too old to waste time trying to argue with her so he wanted a divorce.

The wife, who is in her 50s, raised as her defense that they had sex twice recently.

The Magistrate rejected the husband’s petition for divorce.

Source:  UPI.Com

When Opposing Counsel Doesn’t Return My Calls

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
  • First Time – maybe you forgot or didn’t get my message.
  • Second Time – maybe you are busy putting out forest fires or in trial.
  • Third Time – maybe you are one of those lawyers that procrastinates or is disorganized.
  • Fourth Time – maybe you are embarrassed that you haven’t called me back.
  • Fifth Time – maybe your can’t get your client to call you back.
  • Sixth Time – maybe you don’t know the answer and don’t want to tell me that.
  • Seventh Time – now you are being discourteous and disrespectful to a fellow member of the bar.
  • Eighth Time – you must be unprofessional and incompetent.
  • Ninth Time – you ought to be disbarred.
  • Tenth Time – how do you ever get any clients?
  • Eleventh Time – I don’t even want to talk to you now.  I’ll see you in court.

2009 Gift Tax Exemption

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

While a lot of divorces these days involve dividing debt rather than assets, there are still a few marital estates left with wealth and complexity.

When the parties get stuck on one item, like jewelry or a car or cash, one idea for breaking the impasse is to make a gift to the children.  This can be either outright or through a will or a trust or a contractual provision to be executed at some time in the future.

For 2009, you can give up to $13,000, or $26,000 for a married couple, to each recipient without incurring the federal gift tax

Mikey and the Car

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Today I have a case where the parties have agreed to 99% of their divorce settlement but are hung up on one detail involving a future event that probably won’t happen anyway.   It reminds of the story of Mikey and the car.

Mikey’s father said to Mikey, “Someday, Mikey, we’re going to be rich, and when we are, we’re going to buy new suits with top hats and tails and we’re going to get all dressed up and we’re going to drive our new car up and down the streets of town waiving at everyone we know.”

“Oh, papa, I want to drive.  Let me drive our new car!”

“Mikey,” his father said sternly, “Get out of the car.”

Changes Proposed for Maryland Child Support Guidelines

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

A bill introduced in the Maryland House of Delegates that would revise and increase child support guidelines is winding its way through the legislature. The guidelines are based on the statistical estimated cost of raising children in 1998 and have not been updated for 20 years. The bill had its first reading on February 25, 2009.

How to Decathect

Friday, March 6th, 2009

“de•ca•thect:  Pronunciation: (de-“ku-thekt’), verb, to withdraw one’s feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in anticipation of a future loss:  He decathected from her in order to cope with their impending divorce.”  Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

Divorce is painful and it helps to have a word to attach to all those painful feelings.  I found this word to be useful in describing the process of healing and letting go that occurs over time in a divorce.

How do you decathect?  Here are a couple of tips from cognitive therapy.

1.  Whenever you think of your ex, associate them with something you find unpleasant or revolting.  Imagine them covered with garbage with flies buzzing around.

2.  Wear a rubber band around your wrist.  Whenever you think of your ex, snap the rubber band and say to yourself “Stop!”

These may seem silly, but keep doing it and over time, you will decathect.

Modern Day Ending for Fairy Tale

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

The prince ran off with his secretary.  The princess sued him for divorce based on adultery and desertion.   She got custody, child support, alimony, lawyer fees, the castle and half the kingdom.  And then they lived happily ever after.

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