Thank you for joining me my name is LaSheena Williams and I am a Maryland family law attorney. My firm helps our clients take control of out-of-control domestic situations. Today we will be providing tips on how to prepare for a divorce case in Maryland.
Preparing for A Divorce Case: Gather Your Financial Records
First, you want to gather as much information as possible about your family’s finances. If you have bank accounts, if you have retirement accounts, if you have debts, you want to gather as much information as possible to make it easier for your attorney to know where to look for the information you need.
Preparing for A Maryland Divorce Case: Gather your Partner’s Records
It is very important that you gather as much financial information about your partner as possible. If you know where they bank or if you know what type of retirement accounts they have, gathering that information makes it easier for your lawyer to get records that you can use in court. When you have records that are easily available, it makes the process go a lot smoother and it’s more cost efficient for you as far as getting your divorce completed.
Preparing for A Maryland Divorce Case: Gather Appraisals and Other Reports
If you’ve recently purchased a home or you’ve recently had your home appraised, you want to use that information. The more information you have about the value of your assets, the more leverage you have in determining what you want to give up or what you want to keep and how that impacts the overall availability of assets and liabilities during your divorce.
Preparing for A Maryland Divorce Case: Develop a Parenting Plan
If you have children, it is very important that you develop a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a plan where you lay out your access and your partner’s access with your children. What holidays do you want, how the transportation is going to go, how to handle emergency situations in school, all of that. You lay all of that out so that you know what’s going on. For a lot of people, the custody and support are issues that cost the most in having a divorce. If you and your partner have developed a parenting plan, it makes it significantly more efficient and cost effective for your divorce because that’s one less issue the court has to hear when dividing up the interest in your marriage.
Preparing for A Maryland Divorce Case: Know Your Boundaries
It’s very important to go into a divorce, whether it’s a settlement or a merits hearing, and know what your limits are. If you know exactly what it is you want to focus on, and you know exactly what it is that you don’t care about, as well as what your partner is likely to care about, you understand where to leverage your interests. It’s important to know where to leverage your interest, because if there’s something that you don’t particularly care about, like your spouse’s retirement, but you do actually care about your home, you can exchange your interest in one thing in order to maintain your interest in another.
Preparing for A Maryland Divorce Case: Always be Transparent With Your Attorney
It is key to be as honest and transparent with your attorney as possible. If there’s certain circumstances happening with your assets, or custody, or support, or employment and it changes, you need to tell your attorney so that your attorney can deal with the situation. You may think that you understand the best course of action or you may instinctively decide to hide that information, but it’s very hard for an attorney to fix or to remedy the situation if they don’t know that it’s a problem. Finding out at the last minute that you have a problem, or you’ve lost your job, or you’ve magically gotten a job that has tripled your income is inconvenient and it’s harder to accommodate for that change or that shift in where your case is heading. Tell your lawyer so that your lawyer can handle it. Once you have a lawyer, it’s very important that you know that your lawyer is there to handle these issues for you, and you have to be clear with your lawyer because if you aren’t they can’t, they may not even know that this is a problem and that is a problem.
Preparing for A Maryland Divorce Case: Hire An Attorney That You Trust
It is important to hire an attorney that you trust. If you, for some reason, believe that the attorney is working for someone’s interest, or the attorney is in cahoots with the opposing party or the opposing attorney, that might not be the attorney for you. It is important that you trust your attorney because only when you trust your attorney will you believe them when they give you advice and will you actually listen to their advice. I’ve had clients or potential clients tell me, oh their prior attorney, they didn’t trust that attorney, they thought that attorney’s working with the other side, and various other problems. If you feel that way, it’s very key that you consider hiring another attorney. You want to be able to go forward in your matter with someone you trust, so that you know they are handling this in your best interest and you can move forward with your life following this case.
Contact an Experienced Maryland Divorce Attorney Today For Your Prince George’s County, Maryland and Montgomery County, Maryland Matter
If you have any other questions about preparing for a divorce, or handling a divorce, or any other domestic related matters, please feel free to subscribe to my Youtube channel for future updates. Please also feel free to give me a call at (301) 778-9950 to speak with an attorney today.