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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 October, 2014

Divorce Classes

Friday, October 31st, 2014

We have court-ordered parenting classes for people going through divorce in Maryland, but Oklahoma is trying something different.  Their classes will discuss divorce and emphasize reconciliation in an attempt to convince people to stay married.

State Senator Rob Standridge, who sponsored the new law, says not every marriage can be saved, and the law is not designed to force couples to stay together.  But some couples can successfully reconcile and that may be best for their children.

Do you think we ought to try something like this in Maryland?

Divorce Quotes

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

“Basically it costs as much to get unmarried as it does to get married.” Bruce Cameron, Cameron Law PLLC, The Huffington Post

They Never Mentioned That in School

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

When I was a chemical engineering student, we used slide rules and stayed up all night to work out problems with accuracy to the third decimal point.

My first job out of school was with Proctor & Gamble.  I was assigned to design a Toluene storage system.  Toluene is a toxic, highly flammable, liquid chemical used in making soap.

I used temperature and pressure to calculate the volume of the tank we needed to store the Toluene within three decimal points.

I gave the numbers to Tom, the flat-topped, draftsman with horn-rim glasses, assigned to draw up my design.  Tom was more experienced than me.  He took my number and multiplied it by one and a half.

“Why’d you do that?” I asked.

“To give us a margin of safety.”

They never mentioned that last part in engineering school.

When I was in law school, we learned that a court obtains personal jurisdiction over a person through service of process, which is governed by a detailed and arcane set of rules.  If a litigant fails to follow these rules, you can file a motion to dismiss based on lack of service of process.  You do this by a “special appearance” which allows you to appear in court to argue your motion without submitting yourself to the jurisdiction of the court.

I filed a motion to dismiss for lack of service of process in a case recently by special appearance.  The judge made a “finding” that, even if my client was not properly served, he had actual notice of the complaint, and therefore my motion was denied.

They never mentioned that last part in law school.

How to Put Your Divorce in Perspective

Friday, October 24th, 2014

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”—Mark Twain

Legal Fees

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Divorce lawyer Morris Green answered his phone on the second ring as was his custom.

“Morris!,” said the angry voice on the other end, “This is Ivana Copernica.  I’m calling you about your client, Stanton Fields.  Did you know that he has taken $10,000 out of his pension plan?”

“Yes, I did know,” Green replied calmly.

“He can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s marital property and my client did not agree,” said Ivana.

“I don’t think that your client’s consent is required.  Marital funds are expended by one party or the other in almost every divorce.  Unless they have separate property, that’s how they pay their living expenses.”

“What did he spend $10,000 on?” inquired Ivana.

“Why, his legal fees, of course.”

“Legal fees are not a marital expense.  That is a dissipation of marital assets and we’re going to ask the court to make him put those fees back in the pension account,” snapped Ivana.

“Before you do that, Ivana, better read the Allison case.  I’ll email it to you.  Let me read you the holding.  ‘We hold that when, as here, a spouse uses marital property to pay his or her own reasonable attorney’s fees, such expenditures do not constitute dissipation of marital assets.’”

Allison v. Allison, 160 Md. App. 331, 864 A.2d 191 (2004)

Divorces and Wedding Expenses

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

A study out of Emory University by Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon takes a look at wedding expenses and divorces and finds some interesting relationships.

You are more likely to get a divorce if you spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on a wedding ring than those who spent more than $4,000 or less than $2,000.

People who spent $20,000 or more on the wedding were more likely to get a divorce than those who spent less than $10,000.

How to Request a Hearing

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

If you think it’s easy being a lawyer, listen to this.  We have to be aware of a multitude of laws, cases, rules and regulations.  And they keep changing.

If you want a hearing on a motion or response to a motion, Md. Rule 2-311(f) requires  you to request it in the motion or response under the heading “Request for Hearing”.   The court can decide whether or not to hold a hearing, but it cannot dispose of a claim or defense without a hearing if one was requested.

However, in 2011, the Rules Committee added another sentence to the rule.  The new sentence says, “The title of the motion or response shall state that a hearing is requested.”  So now you have to put the request for a hearing in the body of the motion or response under the proper heading, and in the title as well – or you might not get your hearing!

County Songs We Wish We’d Written

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Neon Light

by Blake Shelton

Ever since you left me
I’ve been ridin’ ’round, cranking up a little country gold heartbreak
Cried and dried these tears
I don’t know how much more missin’ you I can take

I prayed, prayed, prayed
For a sign, sign, sign
Now there it is in the window
It’s about time, damn time

There’s a neon light at the end of the tunnel
It ain’t all that bright, but even though it’s subtle
It’s got me feeling alright, gonna make it a double
There’s a neon light at the end of the tunnel, tunnel, tunnel

I take a shot of I don’t care what you’re doing now
Chase that one with a cold screw you
When that’s done, I just might wash it down
With a big pitcher of someone new

That blonde, blonde, blonde
At the bar, bar, bar
See if she wants to try and break my heart, heart, heart

There’s a neon light at the end of the tunnel
It ain’t all that bright, but even though it’s subtle
It’s got me feeling alright, gonna make it a double
There’s a neon light at the end of the tunnel, tunnel, tunnel

When we were together
I thought life would suck forever
Even though I knew better than the pain would never end
They say the night’s darkest just before the dawn
Gets kissed by the day break, got down on my knees

And I prayed, prayed, prayed
For a sign, sign, sign
Now there it is in the window
It’s about time, damn time

There’s a neon light at the end of the tunnel
It ain’t all that bright, but even though it’s subtle
It’s got me feeling alright, gonna make it a double
There’s a neon light at the end of the tunnel tunnel tunnel

Persephone

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Lawyers are usually pretty good story tellers.  My mother gave me a big book about myths to read when I was growing up and I’ve given a big book of myths to my kids.  There are a lot of good stories in mythology.

Last night, I was watching Shark Tank, one of my favorite tv shows.  Kevin O’Leary used a story about the mythical goddess, Persephone, to make a point.

She was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the harvest goddess.  She was garthering flowers when she was abducted by Pluto and taken to Hades.  Persephone became queen of  the underworld and the goddess who brings us Spring and vegetation.

Only O’Leary pronounced her name as “PERS-a-phone”.  Which does not sound nearly as good as the correct pronunciation, “Per-SEPH-a-nee”.

 
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