What is Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody?

Melissa DossCustody, Divorce

child custody

Your attorney should explain the difference is between joint custody and sole custody—but here are the basics.  When the court does not believe the parents can cooperate well enough to work together for the child, the court will award sole custody to one parent over the other. In most cases however, joint custody is based on the courts belief that encouraging parents … Read More

What Your Divorce Lawyer Should Be Doing and When

Melissa DossDivorce


The practice of law is not a science, but it’s not exactly an art either. There are certain things your attorney can and should be doing. For some guidelines, refer to the following list: Your lawyer should have an overall plan for your case. This might simply mean that she plans to meet with your spouse’s lawyer within the next … Read More

5 Reasons Everyone Should Have a Lawyer

Melissa DossLawyer

Published on January 16, 2013 by jonathan Simply put: Lawyers get a bad rap these days. While I love a good lawyer joke as much as the next guy, the truth is that most lawyers are honest, hard-working and knowledgeable professionals that look out for the best interest of their clients. Like doctors, mechanics or accountants they are professionals with … Read More

Minding the Kids in Divorce: Minimizing the Mental Health Impact

Melissa DossCustody, Divorce

New research finds silver lining in kids’ resilience, but experts emphasize vigilance. ORIGINAL ARTICLE By Michael O. SchroederJan. 19, 2016, at 2:44 p.m.  With up to half of marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce – and rates of divorce higher for subsequentmarriages – many children face challenges from their parents’ split that can follow them for a lifetime, including … Read More

Open Adoption – Pros and Cons

Melissa Dossadoption info

I was recently asked what “open adoption” was. Essentially it is an adoption where the birth parents remain involved in the children’s lives. Closed adoptions on the other hand mean the birth parents know nothing about the adoptive parents and have no contact after the birth. Here is a good article from ABC News that describes the pros and cons. … Read More

5 Reasons You Should Create a Last Will

Melissa DossWills

family and last will and testament

Here is a good article from RocketLawyer on why you should have a Last Will and Testament. 5 Reasons You Should Create a Last Will Although Wills and estate planning laws do vary state to state, one rule holds true: if you don’t have a Last Will and Testament, the Government makes one for you. That means your assets and … Read More

The Truth About Domestic Adoption

Melissa Dossadoption info

baby picture

An adoptive mother dispels common myths about domestic adoption. by Eliza Newlin Carney When Katie and Jeffrey Davis set out to adopt a baby domestically, everyone close to the couple assumed they were in for an excruciatingly long wait. As it turned out, the Davises, who live in Baltimore, Maryland, were matched with a birth mother less than a month … Read More

Free Divorce Resources

Melissa DossDivorce

Free Divorce Resources

Want to know why most people hire an attorney when they want a divorce? (Insert good lawyer joke here). The popular answer is because they want somebody to fight for them and protect their interests. While a good attorney will do that for you, there is a bit more to it. Divorce is a complicated process full of legal jargon … Read More

Who gets custody?

Melissa DossCustody, Divorce

father custody

Have you ever heard that mothers always get custody of children in a divorce? It wasn’t to long ago that this was, for the most part, true. Most courts automatically presumed the mother was best suited to take care of their children. Most states no longer honor that presumption, however. (In fact, some states have passed laws stating that there is … Read More