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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.

Posts Tagged ‘Residency’

Will Shoes Make the Difference in this Divorce?

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

I think my wife has a lot of shoes. But it is nowhere near Tracey Hejailan’s 80 pairs in one of her multiple walk-in closets in a house in Monte Carlo. She is divorcing her husband, multimillionaire, Maurice Amon, in New York, where the couple also has a home.

But Amon claims the shoes are evidence that the couple actually lives in Monaco.

The difference could be worth tens of millions because New York divorce law is based on shared martial property while Monaco divorce law is based on which spouse has legal title. At issue is the art collection, which includes a Basquiat and a Warhol.


Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

The judge has be certain of the proof before a divorce can be granted in Maryland.  In fact the law requires that the testimony of the plaintiff be corroborated by other evidence.

Section 7-101 of the Family Law Article states: “A court may not enter a decree of divorce on the uncorroborated testimony of the party who is seeking the divorce.”

That’s why we ask you to bring a copy of your marriage certificate and a witness to your uncontested divorce hearing.

The marriage certificate is corroborating evidence of your marriage.  If you don’t have a copy, you can also corroborate your marriage with the testimony of a witness who was present at the wedding.

The witness can corroborate residency, custody, the date of separation and that the separation was voluntary on the part of both parties for the year prior to filing the complaint, the usual grounds for uncontested divorce in Maryland.

Voluntary separation can also be corroborated by a Separation Agreement if (1) it states that the spouses voluntarily agreed to separate, and (2) it is executed under oath (i.e., notarized) before the divorce complaint is filed.  Section 8-104 of the Family Law Article.

Residency When Grounds for Divorce Occur in MD

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

In the Fletcher case, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals had to decide whether there was a residency requirement in a case where the grounds for divorce arose within the state.

The court discussed the statutory history and case law and decided as follows:

1.  If grounds for divorce occur within the state, there does not have to be one year of residency, but

2.  at least one of the parties must live in Maryland when the complaint is filed for the court to have jurisdiction over the divorce.

The court then turned its attention to the facts.  Louis had moved to Maryland from Virginia after his wife separated from him and hit a lottery jackpot.  He filed for divorce in Maryland, then she filed in Virginia.  The Maryland court said that Louis was not a bona fide resident because he was just after the lottery money, and it dismissed Louis’s case for lack of jurisdiction.

But the Maryland appeals court said that even if Louis had moved to Maryland to take advantage of its more favorable divorce laws, motive is not an issue in determining whether he was a bona fide resident or not.  The question is not why he moved here but whether he moved here and if he intends to stay.  The court said this was to be determined by such factors as where he lives, where he votes, where he pays taxes, where he receives mail, where his personal belongs are, his current driver’s license, and where he banks.

Therefore, with all due respect to Virginia, the court found that Maryland did have jurisdiction over the divorce and Louis was allowed to proceed with his divorce in Maryland.

Fletcher v. Fletcher, 95 Md. App. 114; 619 A2d 561 (1993)

Maryland Residency Requirements

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Louis and Charlotte Fletcher lived in Virginia for most of their marriage.  But when Charlotte left Louis she bought a lottery ticket and won $7,000,000.

Marital property is determined at the time of separation in Virginia, but at the time of divorce in Maryland.

So Louis moved to Maryland and filed for divorce, alleging that Charlotte had committed adultery in a condo she had purchased in Ocean City Maryland.

Two months later Charlotte filed for divorce in Virginia and moved to dismiss the Maryland case for lack of jurisdiction.  The judge decided that Louis moved to Maryland because of the lottery ticket, so he wasn’t a bona fide resident, and besides he hadn’t been here for a year before filing his complaint.  Therefore he dismissed the Maryland case.  Louis appealed.

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland took a look at Section 7-101(a) of the Family Law Article of the Maryland Code, which provides:

“If the grounds for divorce occurred outside of this State, a party may not apply for a divorce unless 1 of the parties has resided in this State for at least 1 year before the application is filed.”

Does that mean the opposite is true as well?  That is, if the grounds for divorce occur inside Maryland, as the adultery in this case, a one year residence is not required?  Is any residence required?

The answers tomorrow.

11 Reasons a Divorce Agreement Is Better Than a Divorce Trial

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

When clients tell me they want a Divorce, I usually tell them what they really want is a Divorce Agreement, also called a Separation Agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement, for the following reasons.

1. Residency. Before you can even file a Divorce Complaint, one spouse has to be a resident for a year in Maryland or, if the grounds for Divorce arose in Maryland then one spouse has to be a resident at the time of filing. It’s six months in Virginia and DC. There is no residency requirement for a Divorce Agreement.

2. Grounds. You have to have Grounds, or reasons for a divorce, before you can file a Divorce Complaint. But you can have a Divorce Agreement even if you don’t have grounds for Divorce yet.

3. Separation. No-fault Divorces require a period of Separation first. You can have a Divorce Agreement even if you are still living together.

4. Cost. A Divorce Trial can cost $20,000 or more. You can get a Divorce Agreement for $5,000 or less.

5. Time. It might be a year or more before you have a Divorce Trial, and that’s after you file your Divorce Complaint. You can have a Divorce Agreement today.

6. Trial. The actual Divorce Trial itself can last a day or a couple of weeks. But if you have a Divorce Agreement, then an Uncontested Divorce Hearing takes about 20 minutes.

7. Limitations. A Divorce Court Judge has certain limitations in what he or she can order placed in the Divorce Law by the Legislature. You are not restricted by these Divorce Laws in a Divorce Agreement.

8. Detail. A Divorce Decree might be a page or two and leave many questions unanswered. But a Divorce Agreement can be as long as you want and cover every detail.

9. Control. In a Divorce Trial, a Divorce Judge will make the decisions for you, and he or she is a stranger to your marriage. You can control the outcome with a Divorce Agreement.

10. Privacy. A Divorce Trial is public and some of the information about your divorce is available on the Internet. A Divorce Agreement can be kept confidential.

11. Appeals. Your spouse can appeal a Divorce Trial, but not a Divorce Agreement.

In fact a Divorce Agreement can give you almost everything a Divorce Trial can give you, except an order dividing pension plans (“QDRO”) and the right to remarry. A Divorce Trial is the course of last resort, only when you and your spouse cannot reach a Divorce Agreement.

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