Some people find themselves untying the knot with relish, says David Mejias, a divorce lawyer in Glen Cove, New York, in this Newsday article by Laura Albanese.  He says divorce is losing much of its stigma.

So Mejias is organizing a Divorce Expo on March 24 on the golf course in Port Washington, New York.  The event, which will be free to the public, will feature hundreds of vendors and consultants, from therapists to plastic surgeons.  Dr. Stephen Greenberg, for example, a plastic surgeon in Woodbury, New York provides custom divorce packages for botox, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, and those nips that people reentering the dating scene might want.

Mejias expects to attract around 300 people.


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.

Uncontested divorces in Maryland are heard by a Family Law Master.  The Plaintiff needs to appear in court to testify.  The Defendant need only appear if it is what he or she wants to do.  Here’s a checklist of things you need for an uncontested divorce hearing:

  • Report of Absolute Divorce or Annulment of Marriage (the Blue Form)
  • Separation Agreement
  • A Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
  • Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
  • Corroborating Witness and Witness Information Form
  • Submission to Judgment


A friend of mine tells this story about one night when he was working as an assistant manager at a health club.  A young woman came in with a little girl.  She looked harried, probably from working all day, and now she was looking forward to a swim with her daughter.

“I’m sorry, ma’am , the manager said, “but the pool closes at 7:00 pm.”

“Oh,” said the woman, dejectedly, and turned to go.  Ordinarily, that would have been the end of it.  The result would be an unhappy customer.

But, as the mother was walking away, the manager said “Ma’am?”  As she turned, he said to her, “You have a beautiful little girl.”

She lit up with a great big smile and you could almost see the stress of the day melting from her as she squared her shoulders, lifted her head and stood up straight.  An unhappy customer was turned into a happy customer.

It takes so little to do so much.

We are all starved for recognition, acknowledgment and love.  So take two minutes and buy some flowers, pick up the clothes on the floor, empty the dishwasher or fill up your spouse’s car without telling them.  You get the idea.  Keeping Rule No. 1 in mind will reap large dividends for only a little effort.

Here’s a “divorce quote” from Oscar Wilde.

“Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many. Monogamy is the same.” –Oscar Wilde

THYDEN GROSS AND CALLAHAN LLP is pleased to announce that partners, James J. Gross, Michael F. Callahan and Lois R. Finklestein, have been selected as Maryland Super Lawyers and District of Columbia Super Lawyers for 2008.

The Super Lawyers selection process includes peer nominations, a blue ribbon panel review and independent research.

Only five percent of attorneys are selected each year.

How does a one time capital gain factor in to child support? Is a one time capital gain income for child support? Let me tell you a little story.

I was just ordering a cuppa joe and a muffin at the Starbucks next to the courthouse when I bumped into Ronnie, a lawyer friend of mine, who was looking kind of rumpled.

“Ronnie,” I said cheerfully, “you look like you are not having such a great day, pal.”

“Yeah, I just lost a hearing in front of Judge Wilde. I was trying to get child support increased for my client. The house just sold, under the divorce decree, and I was arguing that increased the ex-husband’s income by $100,000, the amount of his capital gains. Judge Wilde denied my motion.”

“I just can’t understand it,” said Ronnie. “The Maryland Code says capital gains are included in income. Look, I wrote it on my legal pad. FAMILY LAW § 12-202(c)(4) states:

Based on the circumstances of the case, the court may consider the following items as actual income: . . .; (ii) capital gains.”

“He mentioned some case named Tanis v. Crocker or something like that.”

“Well,” I said. “I’ve got my laptop here, and this fine establishment has free WiFi, so let’s look it up.”

In a few seconds, we were reading on Lexis about the dispute between Margaret Tanis and Michael Crocker over child support. The couple married in 1975, had two children together, and divorced in 1988. They agreed on $750 a month in child support. In 1994 Ms. Tanis decided to ask for an increase in child support, arguing among other things, that the court should include the gain from the sale of his house, about $60,000, in Mr. Crocker’s income.

Although the trial court increased child support to $1,032.10, it did not calculate or include the capital gains. Mrs. Tanis was unhappy with the result and appealed.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed the trial judge and sent the case back to him. The Court said:

There is no basis in the record for the trial court’s stated reason supporting its decision to exclude the capital gain appellee realized from his actual income. Hence, that decision was clearly wrong and an abuse of discretion….the court should reconsider computation of child support and whether to award attorney’s fees to appellant; it should determine the amount of capital gain appellee realized from the sale of the house; and, in accord with MD. CODE ANN., FAM. LAW § 12-202(c)(4), it should determine whether, “based on the circumstances of the case,” that capital gain should be included as a part of appellee’s actual income. Tanis v. Crocker, 110 Md. App. 559 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1996).

“So,” I said to Ronnie. “It looks like you had the right idea to try to include a one time capital gain to increase child support. But the judge has discretion based on the circumstances of the case as long as he decides whether or not to include a one time capital gain. And my guess is that most judges won’t include the house sale that is part of the divorce and a result of the divorce decree.”

Ronnie thought about this for a second, and then said, “The thing I like about being a divorce lawyer, is that you learn something new every day. Can I have some of that muffin?”

First Wives World is calling for all divorced women to watch the CBS Evening News with anchor Katie Couric.

Debbie Nigro, Chief Executive Girlfriend of, notes that only about 6 million people are watching Katie every night, but there are over 40 million divorced women.

According to Nigro, the response at First Wives World has been amazing.

Now just think what they could do for Hillary.

Stay at home mom

My wife and I had our annual argument last night about who has the harder job. I am a high pressure lawyer and she is a stay at home mom. I thought I would win hands down.

She came armed with some statistics, however. According to the mom pay wizard calculator at Salary.Com, the typical stay at home mom  works 40 hours at base pay and 52 hours overtime for a total of 92 hours a week.

Mothers perform ten jobs at home, namely:

  • cook
  • housekeeper
  • day care center teacher
  • laundry machine operator
  • van driver
  • facilities manager
  • janitor
  • computer operator
  • chief executive officer
  • psychologist

Salary.Com also says it would take $138,095 a year to buy those services if she did not perform them. So who has the harder job in your marriage? Leave a comment.

James J. Gross and Lois R. Finkelstein, of the law firm of Thyden Gross & Callahan in Chevy Chase, Maryland, have been selected as District of Columbia Super Lawyers for 2007. They are listed among the top 5% of lawyers in the D.C. area practicing family law as a result of a survey by Law & Politics. Gross and Finkelstein were also selected as Maryland Super Lawyers previously this year.