News: In the News

Millennials Are Now Getting Their Parents to Handle Their Divorces

Joseph Condo Quoted in the Washingtonian


By , Washingtonian

Lisa,* a mother of two in Montgomery County, initially didn’t want to involve her parents in her divorce. It’s easy to see why.

“My husband was seeing prostitutes, and not for run-of-the-mill stuff,” the 42-year-old explains. “It was stuff I had to Google.”

But ultimately, she needed them. Her parents loaned her $175,000 to cover legal costs and other expenses, such as renting a new place to live. They helped her build her case—including enlisting her dad to photocopy ads she’d discovered for 30 different prostitutes who had been with her husband. “That saved me like $2,000 in attorneys’ fees, doing the copies ourselves,” she says.

As Lisa logged her husband’s philandering—which she tracked for more than a year by keeping tabs on his internet use, phone records, and ATM withdrawals—she e-mailed the chronicles to her mother for safekeeping: “My mom knows everything.”

One other way her parents were involved: They both accompanied her to meet with her attorney.

However, parental support can easily veer into parental control. Joseph Condo, a principal at Offit Kurman, recently represented a young woman splitting from a wealthy husband. He says things were going well for their side: “The husband was putting a lot of money on the table that wasn’t required, ostensibly because he felt bad about the breakup of the marriage.”

The woman could have walked away. But then, Condo says, her parents convinced her to demand substantially more. Condo, who no longer represents the client, predicts they’ll cost their daughter both emotionally and financially.

The other problem with inviting a parent—or any third party—to the table: Doing so breaks attorney/client privilege. That means the opposing attorney can subpoena anything discussed. Lawyers say they’re having to explain this risk more often, though many clients choose to ignore it. , Washingtonian


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