Settlement

2018 Maryland General Assembly – The Session of Mutual Consent

2018 Maryland General Assembly – The Session of Mutual Consent

2018 has been the Session of "Mutual Consent", with four (4) bills proposing to change the Mutual Consent ground for divorce. SB120 proposes to eliminate the exclusion of no minor children in common, so making the Mutual Consent ground for divorce available to all...

Rose v. Rose – Child Support, Overnights & Retroactive Modification

Rose v. Rose – Child Support, Overnights & Retroactive Modification

On February 1, 2018, the Court of Special Appeals issued its opinion in Rose v. Rose, a case involving: Alimony termination due to the ex-spouse's alleged cohabitation in a marriage like relationship pursuant to Gordon v. Gordon; I discuss this in Rose v. Rose -...

Maryland Child Custody – What ARE the Best Interests of the Child?

Maryland Child Custody – What ARE the Best Interests of the Child?

When it comes to where a child of separated parents lives, the child's schedule for spending time with each parent, and decision-making about a child, the guiding principle is the child's best interests. In settlement, this means the parents put the child's interests...

Na v. Gillespie – Confidentiality & Mediation

Na v. Gillespie – Confidentiality & Mediation

On December 1, 2017, Maryland Court of Special Appeals issued its opinion in Na v. Gillespie, a case involving a dispute about whether the parties had reached an agreement in mediation and whether mediation communications and documents were admissible evidence to...

What is Child Custody?

What is Child Custody?

In Maryland, child custody has two main parts:  physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody involves where a child lives, when a child spends time with each parent, and any conditions.  Physical custody is also called residential custody or...

Resilience – A Work in Progress

Resilience – A Work in Progress

Resilience is not something we have or don't. Resilience is something we can build - at any age. This New York Times article focuses on practical tips for building resilience in middle age. "Scientists who study stress and resilience say it’s important to think of...

Why Don’t All Mediators Draft Settlement Agreements?

Why Don’t All Mediators Draft Settlement Agreements?

There are two camps of mediators: those who draft agreements and those who don't. For those who don't, they draft a list of settlement terms for the parties to take to their own (separate) attorneys to draft. For those who do, these fall into two further camps: -...

A Contract by Any Other Name…Still a Contract

A Contract by Any Other Name…Still a Contract

Many family law matters settle. Using many different settlement methods. Whatever settlement method is used, the parties need to get from a shared understanding of the settlement terms to a document confirming those terms. In many cases, this requires a contract, so...

Is Mediation a Substitution for Attorney Representation?

Short answer: No. More and more, I see mediation framed as a "one-stop" solution for couples who want to resolve their family matters. However, mediation is not the same as being represented by an attorney. These are two different - but complimentary - roles that when...