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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 March, 2013

Breadwinner Wives

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Although alimony laws are supposed to  apply equally to men and women, women obtain more alimony awards than men.

Changing family roles may make a difference, however, like stay at home dads, working moms and working couples.

USA Today reports that 28% of women make more than their husbands when both spouses work, up from 16% in 1988.

5 Tips on Choosing the Best Divorce Solicitor for You

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Guest post by Camille Norest. (Editor’s Note:  Across the pond they use solicitors but the advice applies to choosing a divorce lawyer here as well.)

When going through a divorce, it is important to have a divorce solicitor that you are comfortable and confident with to take you through the process. To do this, you need to find the divorce solicitor with the right set of skills for your situation. This will help you save time, money and stress when you need it most. Here are 5 helpful tips to finding your perfect divorce solicitor.


Like everything in life, hiring a divorce solicitor has a price, so it is good to find one that you can afford. That is not to say you need to take on the cheapest divorce solicitor out there, but you should ensure that you are getting the best work for your money. Compare rates along with the other important features for your choice of divorce solicitor to see what price makes more sense to you. Most solicitors will charge by the hour instead of agreeing to a flat fee, although it is worth asking if your case can be covered with a flat fee for simplicity’s sake.


Every divorce is different, but some a more individual than others. Assess the aspects of your relationship breakdown to see what might complicate things with the proceeding divorce. This could include children, pre-nuptial agreements and your specific reasons for divorce. When you have done this, search for a divorce solicitor that specialises in those areas. They will have experience with any problems regarding your circumstances and will be able to clearly explain anything you will need to do to continue with the process.

Talk to Them

Being confident with your divorce solicitor is vital, and this reassurance can be as easy as picking up the phone to ask a couple questions. Inquiries are free more often than not, and any divorce solicitor worth your time should happily talk you through some of the procedures when asked. Don’t expect an hour long conversation spanning every detail, they are in high demand and very busy, but talking personally to a divorce solicitor is a great, quick way to see if they are right for you.


Look for a divorce solicitor that has a decent amount of experience. Though for some it may be enough for to read when the company was started, it is also important to find out what they have been doing all that time. If a divorce solicitor has been involved in any cases that well known within the industry, they will call attention to it on their website, so it is a good idea to research deeper than a homepage when picking who is best for you.

Friends and Family

While you may not want to bring your friends and family in to your relationship breakdown, in some cases it might be preferable to keep them separate, but asking them if they would recommend a divorce solicitor is sometimes very helpful. No one knows you like your friends and family, so they could be able and willing to give you good advice on choosing who to talk to for your situation. You don’t need to tell them all the details, but if they have been through a relationship breakdown and they liked who helped them with the proceedings, it is worth seeing if they would be right for you too.

Multi-Billion Dollar Divorce

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Reuters has a story this morning about the pending divorce of Harold Hamm, 67, one of the richest men in America, and CEO of Continental Resources.

Sue Ann Hamm, 56, filed for divorce on May 19, 2012, in Oklahoma alleging that her husband was having an affair.

Harold Hamm’s net worth is estimated to be $11.3 billion dollars, most of it in the form of stock of Continental, an oil and gas fracking company.   The Hamms were married in 1988.

Oklahoma is an equitable property state, so this case could break the record for marital settlements.  That is held by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdock who paid $1.7 billion in his divorce.

Tax Planning for Divorce (Part 6-Asset Transfers)

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Guest Post by John Ellsworth, Esq.

When a divorce settlement moves property (typically, your house and part of his or her 401-K) from one spouse to another, the recipient doesn’t pay tax on that transfer. That’s the good news.

But it’s important to remember that the property’s tax basis moves with the property. If you get the house, you also get its basis. This means that when you sell the property you get to subtract how much you “paid” for the property from the sale price. The “how much you paid for it” part is called the “basis.”

So, if you get property from your ex in the divorce and later sell it, you will pay capital gains tax on all the appreciation before as well as after the transfer. (“Appreciation” means how much it’s gone up in value.)

That’s why, when you’re splitting up property, you need to consider the tax basis as well as the value of the property. A $100,000 bank account is worth more to you than a $100,000 stock portfolio that has a basis of $50,000. There’s no tax on the former, but when you sell the stock, you will owe tax on the $50,000 profit.

If your divorce lawyer isn’t familiar with how this all works, ask him or her to consult for an hour with a qualified tax lawyer to get the low-down.

Defective Marriages

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Maryland does not favor annulments and the courts believe that marriages should be preserved whenever possible.  However, certain marriages are defective from the beginning.

Void marriages include bigamous marriages and those between close relatives.

Voidable marriages are those that fail under contract law but can be made valid by the court.  For example, marriage to a minor is not legal, but the marriage might be ratified by the court when the minor reaches the age of majority.

Celebrity Divorce News

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

In an interview with Opra Winfrey, Cindy Crawford, says the age difference doomed the break up of her marriage to Richard Gere.  The supermodel was 22 and the actor was 37 when they wed.

Reality television star, Kim Kardashian’s divorce from basketball star, Kris Humphries, continues to grind along.  Humphries is trying to prove the marriage was a fraud.  Last month producer Russell Jay, said at his deposition that some of the televison show scenes with Humphries were scripted, reshot or edited, including the marriage proposal.

You Call This Concise?

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

After receiving a 143 paragraph petition, I had to check the rules again for Form of Pleadings. Maryland Rule 2-303(b) says:

Each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of pleadings are required. A pleading shall contain only such statements of fact as may be necessary to show the pleader’s entitlement to relief or ground of defense. It shall not include argument, unnecessary recitals of law, evidence, or documents or any immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous material.

That’s what I thought it said.

NY Court Throws Out Prenup

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Elizabeth Petrakis claimed that her husband, Peter Petrakis, who controls $20 million in real estate, fraudulently induced her to sign a prenuptial agreement four days before the wedding.

Elizabeth said that Peter threatened to call off the wedding if she didn’t sign. Her dad had already paid $40,000 for a reception and she said she felt coerced into signing against her will.

She also told the court that Peter had promised he would tear up the prenup once they had children. They had three. Peter denied that he made any such promise.

The Brooklyn Appellate Court apparently did not believe Peter and they threw out the prenup. The divorce will proceed without it.

The lesson to be learned from this case is sign your prenup long before the wedding if you want it to hold up in court.

The Perils of Divorce Over 50

Monday, March 4th, 2013

As the baby boomer population reaches retirement age, divorces are doubling.  Call it a second midlife crisis.  Whatever the cause, it can throw a monkey wrench into the best laid retirement plans.  Divorce is not a planned financial event.

The pension plan that was going to fund vacations and travel for two people may be split in half in a divorce.  Now it must pay for two vacations, two dwellings, two cars and so forth.  It may cost as much as 50% more for two people to live separately as it does to live together as a couple.  Also, if one person gets sick, they may have to hire a caregiver.

None of the solutions are attractive.  You can delay retirement, save more or reduce your life style.  If you divorce in your 20s or 30s, you have time to recover your losses.  It is not as easy if you divorce at 60 or 65.

Marriage Certificate Will Not Be Required for Divorce

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The court in Montgomery County, Maryland, will no longer require the parties to submit their marriage certificate in order to obtain a divorce.  This brings our procedure in line with other counties in the state.

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