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Family Law Section

What a great start to the bar year!  A big thank you to John S. Weaver, Esq., Sarah I. Malik, Esq., and Jer Welter, Esq. for their informative presentation last month on Santo v. Santo and Conover v. Conover.  We also want to thank Harry B. Siegel, Esq. for enlightening us over breakfast on the consideration of Social Security Benefits in a monetary award after Jackson v. Sollie.

Please SAVE THE DATE for the following events, CLEs, programs and meetings which we have scheduled for the upcoming year for the Family Law Section.

October 20, 2016
November 17, 2016 **5:00 p.m. in Courtroom 1; (Family Judges’ Roundtable)
January 19, 2017
February 16, 2017
March 16, 2017 **5:00 p.m. in Courtroom 1; (Family Law Magistrates’ Roundtable)
April 20, 2017 
May or June 2017 **Practitioner of the Year Award Dinner (Date, Time and Place TBD)
*** Please note that all FL Section Meetings are approximately 1 hour long and will take place at 5:30pm in the Bar Office, CLE Classroom, except as otherwise noted. 

Please join us on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in the Bar Building CLE Classroom for a presentation by Heather Collier, Esq., Eric Rollinger, Esq., and Erik Arena, Esq. on the topic of "Alimony and Child Support Tax Issues--The Top 5 Things Divorce Lawyers Need to Know.”  This program will cover a number of tax issues related to alimony, child support, and the interplay between the two, which should be part of what you consider each time you are structuring a support agreement or requesting that the court order a particular support arrangement.

Finally, two questions that keep us up all night will be answered on October, 24, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Bar Office, CLE Classroom. "What the H*@! is a QDRO and Do I Need One?"  Join us for the answers.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Bar Office, CLE Classroom where Speakers/Panelists: Hon. Cynthia Callahan, Hon. Joseph M. Quirk, Glenn Cooper; Jo Benson Fogel; Casey Weinberg Florance; Jeff Evan Lowinger;  and John Weaver will discuss the topic of Initial Alimony Awards: Bringing Order to Apparent Chaos.  The state of alimony awards can be chaotic - unpredictable, confusing, and inconsistent. This often renders counseling clients and presenting cases rather problematic. This intermediate to advanced level CLE will address significant aspects, including:

(1) Presenting FL §11-106(b) Mandatory Alimony Award Factors at Trial: From Opening to Closing - Strategy, Emphasis, Evidence, and the Court’s Weighing of Factors. Practice tips and avoiding pitfalls.

(2) Rehabilitative vs. Indefinite Alimony: The plan to progress toward self-sufficiency and the meaning of “rehabilitative.” How long is too long for rehabilitative alimony? The interplay and projection of “unconscionably disparate” standards of living and “gross” or “unconscionable” income disparities. The use of income ratio comparisons to determine whether indefinite alimony is appropriate and whether an award amount adequately alleviates unconscionable disparity in lifestyle.

(3) What constitutes a party’s reasonable needs/expenses.

(4) Determining earnings ability and imputing income to a party seeking alimony, and whether expert testimony is necessary. How voluntary impoverishment applies in an alimony case. 

(5) Managing the client who refuses to work or develop a plan toward self-sufficiency.

(6) The effective use of Alimony Guidelines.

(7) A “view from the Bench.”

This must-attend CLE will inform you and help sharpen your family law practice.

And as we gear up for another great year, please also SAVE THE DATE for the following social events:

Fall Happy Hour – Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. following the Judge’s Roundtable, at Bar Louie in Rockville Town Square.  We hope to see you there! 
Holiday Party – Thursday, December 8, 2016 from 5:30 to 7:30 at Delaney McKinney.  Delaney McKinney has graciously agreed to host what is sure to be another fabulous holiday party. Please contact Linda Lane at to rsvp.  If you rsvp on or before December 1, 2016, the cost is $50.  If you wait until after December 1st, the cost is $55.  Volunteers are needed and greatly appreciated at this event, so please contact Linda Lane to sign up as a volunteer.
Spring Happy Hour – Thursday, March 16, 2017, following the Family Law Magistrates’ Roundtable, location TBD 
End of Year Dinner/Practitioner of the Year Award – TBD in May or June 2017.


Sandra A. Brooks
Christina M. Hughes
Heather R. Sweren


Meeting Dates

October 20, 2016
November 17, 2016*
January 19, 2017
February 16, 2017
March 16, 2017*
April 20, 2017

*5PM; Courtroom 1

Meetings are held at 5:30p.m. in the CLE Classroom of the Bar Association building, unless otherwise noted.

Social Events

November 17, 2016 -- Fall Happy Hour (following Family Judges' Roundtable, location TBD)
Holiday Party -- TBD in December
March 16, 2017 -- Spring Happy Hour (following Family Law Magistrate's Roundtable, location TBD)
TBD (May or June 2017) -- End of Year Dinner/Practitioner of the Year Award

CLE Seminars

Initial Alimony Awards: Bringing Order to Apparent Chaos
Wednesday, November 30