The Monster in the Closet- Alcohol Dependent Spouses

Marriages are often faced with many challenges. From figuring out how to manage money and how many children to have, to who is going to do the dishes, we have all experienced them. Some challenges may be obvious, but some may be so cleverly disguised or hidden. It is stated that nearly 17 million adults in the United States have alcohol-related problems. “Alcohol remains the number-one drug problem in the United States.” [1] With this kind of shocking statistic, it is not uncommon to see marriages affected and divorces finalized as a result. You may be wondering how to determine…

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Co-Parenting: There’s an App for That?

Communicating with your ex-spouse during or after a divorce can cause a lot of hostility and unneeded frustration for you and your children. You may be wondering how you are going to parent your children together when just seeing your ex-spouse causes your heart to race and blood to boil. Thankfully we live in the 21st century and technology is more sophisticated than ever before. With many online resources for separated parents, co-parenting with your ex-spouse has never been easier. The increased demand for technology that makes parenting with an ex easier has led to a development in a number…

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It’s Their Way or the Highway: Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

You have heard it one too many times. You have dealt with their selfish comments, their inability to apologize and their abusive, harsh words. It makes parenting so much harder than it needs to be. When narcissism takes over, simple conversations can become unbearable and non-productive. Co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse may be one of the most difficult things you have to go through, but you must rise above it. The first step to understanding how to co-parent with a narcissistic ex-spouse is to recognize the symptoms. “Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness.” [1]…

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The Hidden Disease of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can be very prevalent in homes of divorce or struggling families. Some might say it is like a hidden disease, that if not treated properly, will consume everyone involved. A parent may not even recognize they are falling victim to this until it is too late. By that time, the child’s view of the alienated parent has already been distorted beyond repair. Parental alienation is the use of psychological manipulation of a child to damage his or her view of the other parent. Often times this is due to one parent’s inability to separate conflict in the marriage…

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The Emotional Ride of Infidelity

In today’s society, couples get married for a number of different reasons. Some of these motivators include finances, companionship, to have children and of course, for love. Although any of these might provide the initial incentive to walk down the aisle, it doesn’t always guarantee a happy ending. A study done by the Associated Press, “Journal of Marital and Family Therapy,” indicates that 41% of all men and women will cheat on their spouse. [2] If you are dealing with infidelity then your most pressing question is, “How can I understand my feelings and move towards a solution?” In order…

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Custody Disputes Involving a Child with Autism

When custody disputes involve an autistic child, additional factors and individual needs should be considered. It is important for all those involved to understand what autism is and what concerns may be important when litigating a case in court, discussing settlement, or representing a child with autism. What is Autism? Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a serious developmental disability impairing one’s ability to communicate and interact. According to The Centers for Disease Control, “ASD is a developmental disability that causes substantial impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of unusual behaviors and interests. The thinking and…

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Mistakes Witnesses Make (And How To Avoid Them)

A great witness can be the difference between losing and winning a case. So can a harmful witness. So how can you make sure you are on the correct side of this line? Here are a few pointers I have developed over my many years working with witnesses. Mistake #1: Lack of Preparation It is tempting to think that since all you are doing is telling your story, preparation is not really necessary. There are several problems with this line of reasoning – primarily that the other side is doing just the opposite. Although you are telling your story, there…

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New Mutual Consent Divorce in Maryland as of October 2015

On October 1, 2015, Maryland enacted the “mutual consent” grounds for divorce. The new statute was signed by Governor Hogan on May 12, 2015 and stipulates several criteria for Maryland to grant an absolute divorce decree without the standard one year separation requirement that the parties to live separate and apart from each other. [1] Criteria for “Mutual Consent” Divorce in Maryland In order for the divorce to be granted on grounds of “mutual consent”, the following criteria must be met (as outlined in the statute): The parties do not have any minor children in common. The parties execute and…

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7 Challenges and Considerations to Keep in Mind when Representing Non-English Speaking Clients

Although traditionally America is a very monolingual society, the percentage of our non-English speaking population, or those with limited knowledge of the English language, is growing rapidly.  In fact, the number of people in the U.S. who speak a language other than English at home has nearly tripled over the past three decades![1] As attorneys, we are often faced with the challenge of representing such individuals with different linguistic background from the court and potentially ourselves. As a bilingual (Spanish/English) attorney, I have experienced these challenges on numerous occasions and can offer my insight when you are faced with such…

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Coping With a Spouse Who Has PTSD

PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical/sexual assault as an adult or child. Following one of these traumatic experiences, it is natural for a person to feel afraid, sad, anxious, or disconnected. But if these feelings don’t fade away and you are stuck with a constant feeling of danger, you may be suffering from PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD can make it very difficult to maintain a healthy, happy relationship. Normal arguments can turn…

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