301 865-1101

Both Men And Women Ask “What About Marriage Counseling?”


As a custody and divorce lawyer in Frederick, it never ceases to amaze  me that when I give a presentation, a class or a seminar on divorce and custody, it always comes down to questions and answers.

I get asked the following questions.

Men always ask: “ Doesn’t the mother always get custody? ”

Women always ask: “Why do most marriages fail?”

Both ask: “What about marriage counseling?

Note well that the “reasons” for divorce is a question of the human heart, a journey nearly impossible to define.  In contrast, the “grounds” for the eventual divorce is merely a question of law, more like a road map. See What Entitles You To Grounds For  Divorce in Frederick Md.

I can tell you as a Frederick divorce and custody lawyer that everything I comment upon is a clear pattern.  These are of course just MY observations, not a study or a survey.  That being said, seventeen (17) years as a lawyer handling between sixty five (65) to one hundred (100) divorce and custody cases per year?  That’s a significant sample.  You may find my answers  are matter of fact and unambiguous.  They are.

This is what I have seen for what I estimate is four thousand (4,000) days in divorce and custody court.  Furthermore, these patterns are consistent with the patterns that other Frederick divorce and custody lawyers have seen making it of many more thousands of days in divorce court.  What I do not claim to know is; what do these answers really mean?

“Why do most marriages fail?” The unambiguous answer is: Adultery

There is not even a  close second.  Psychology experts report the same answer.  While we have to face the fact that this is the most common “reason” for divorce, it’s not the most common “grounds” for divorce.  Mutual and voluntary separation for over one year is the most common grounds divorces are awarded upon.

“What about marriage counseling?”  This question goes hand in hand (forgive the pun) with the above. Marriage rarely survives an adultery of any length.  To my knowledge, it has never survived an adultery in the marital home.  As a Frederick divorce and custody lawyer I observe that It tends to work like this:  One or both spouses have an affair and then there is a period of kicking, screaming and finger pointing.  Following that, most people just go ahead and just get divorced by agreement.  They both eventually want it.  So, the most common “grounds” for a divorce is granted is based upon the parties being separated for over a year.

The most common “grounds” for a divorce based on a “mutual”  and “voluntary” separation.   The “Mutual and Voluntary Separation” standard can be usually be met even if that separation became “mutual” and “voluntary” the day of the divorce.  Most of the time if there is an aggrieved party they get used to the idea of being divorced or reach the conclusion “I’m better off without (him/her).”

Adultery is so commonly at the heart of a divorce, that Frederick Maryland custody and divorce lawyers just presume somebody in the picture had or is having an affair.  The signs are different with some variation on the themes: “my spouse works late…my spouse travels alot for work…my spouse is spending more time out with friends…my spouse spends alot of time on the computer…”  That being said ,I could not possibly spell out all of the adultery signs I have seen over the years.


Nor, have I found a “smoking gun” sign that proves an adultery the each and every time.  What I can say is that: intuition is always right.  You can count on it like gravity.  A mantra spoken to me by a senior divorce lawyer many years ago was:  “if you think your spouse is faithful, you may be right.”  “If you think your spouse is cheating, you are always right.

Each year I find this mantra to be more, and more, and more true.

At the end of the day, it’s a chicken or the egg question.  Did the adultery occur and lead to demise of the marriage, or did in the demise of the marriage lead to the adultery?  Someday, when I am sitting on a beach, I may consider how the causal relationship plays out.  I may even investigate whether what I have seen as a Frederick custody and divorce lawyer is reflective of the whole state or even the whole country. For now, I merely offer the above observations.



Custody Attorneys in Frederick Maryland

The Custody Place
301 865-1101