The thought of divorce can be rather intimidating for most people. It’s not easy to end a marriage. There are many things that must be done before a partner can move out of the marital home and people can begin to move on.
There are many attorneys in Maryland that specialize in divorces. Choosing the right legal counsel can make things much less stressful. However, you might not know where to start. Here are a few questions that you can ask potential attorneys before selecting one to represent you:
1. How does the process work?
You may want your lawyer to spell out the details, step by step. This can help you understand what to expect. Feel free to ask any questions that you may have along the way as the attorney explains what can happen.
2. What experience do you have in divorce cases?
The lawyer you hire should have a good track record in terms of divorce cases. They will usually have won more cases than they have lost. Your attorney should also be familiar with the defense counsel and the judge who will be present at the divorce proceedings should the case go to trial.
3. Do you typically settle cases before or after they go to trial?
Some attorneys prefer to settle divorces before they get to the courtroom phase. Others may excel in the courtroom. You can ask the lawyers that you interview which stage they’re most comfortable with. Just keep in mind that your costs can increase depending on the number of billable hours your lawyer spends on the case.
4. When should I file for divorce?
You can ask a lawyer about the right time to file for divorce, especially if you’re unsure about the residency requirements. A good attorney can advise you as to when, where and how you can file for divorce. They may also provide insight about the timeline for the divorce paperwork being served to your former partner.
5. What can I do about alimony, child support and child visitation?
Some couples are able to work out child visitation, asset division, child support, alimony and other important matters before filing for divorce. Others may have difficulties making such arrangements or getting along with each other in the first place. The lawyer that you work with should be able to answer your concerns about those and other essential concerns.
6. How should I respond to my spouse’s inquiries?
Your soon to be former spouse may be communicating with you regularly, even if you haven’t filed for divorce yet. It’s okay if you’re not quite sure how to reply. There may be certain things that you feel uncomfortable sharing with them. Your attorney can assist you in finding ways to respond to their questions in a civil manner, no matter how friendly or unfriendly they may be toward you. If you have children with your spouse, the kids’ best interests should always be given top priority.
7. What should I expect during the divorce proceedings?
Your lawyer should be able to walk you through a standard divorce trial from start to finish. Each side will have opportunities to present witnesses, evidence and testimony. Both partners can be examined and cross-examined. The defense attorney may ask some questions or make insinuations that you may make your feel uncomfortable. It’s important to answer any questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. Your attorney can help you anticipate possible questions and evidence. You can have your own witnesses and evidence that can corroborate your claims.
8. What are your fees?
Getting a divorce isn’t cheap. Attorneys often have varying charges, depending on the work that needs to be done. They may also be based on the type of divorce that is requested (limited versus absolute divorce, for example). The lawyer that you work with should be very transparent in this regard. They should be able to supply you with their fee schedule.
9. How are hours billed?
Some lawyers mandate that clients pay a retainer. This is a sort of down payment that must be paid in advance. They will then be billed on an hourly basis after that. The attorney that you choose should be able to tell you what their retainer is, their hourly rate and how those hours are billed.
10. What is your preferred method of communication?
Communication is very important during a divorce. Lawyers and their clients should expect to be in constant contact with each other. You can discuss how you will talk to each other along the way. It may be personal phone calls, emails, text messages, video conferencing or a mixture of different methods. Whatever you decide, be consistent. Your attorney should know your work or school schedule, so they know to not contact you during the times of the day when you’re less likely to be available.
Divorce is never easy. It may be difficult to explain to younger children, who may sometimes feel that they’re to blame for their parent’s breakup. Divorce can forever change personal relationships.
If you’re thinking about filing for divorce or have been served with divorce papers, give us a call. You can set up a consultation that fits in your busy schedule. Our experienced professionals will listen to what you have to say and answer your questions as they are asked. We can provide recommendations for possible next steps and represent you during divorce proceedings if you wish.
Our primary goal is to get you back on track again. This won’t be instantaneous, but success rarely happens overnight. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you’ll probably be enjoying life before you actually realize it.