Going to Court: Setting Expectations for Your Divorce Process

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 discussing setting expectations for your divorce process.


Many people believe that divorces happen very, very quickly, but the fact of the matter is, is that the more complicated your divorce is, the more issues you have in your divorce, the longer the timeline for you getting a divorce decree may be. It really depends on the facts of your case, the issues being presented, but some people are shocked by how long it may take for you to have a final divorce hearing. The divorce hearing schedule largely depends on the amount of discovery that’s needed. It depends on how many days of trial that’s needed, if you have expert witnesses and if they’re designated appropriately, if there’s depositions being scheduled. It depends on the availability of judges, if your court is overburdened with a lot of domestic or criminal cases, it may be quite some time before a circuit court judge or magistrate may be available to hear your matter and all that plays into how long it takes for you to get a divorce decree.

Discovery is Invasive, but Usually Necessary

Many people do not want to answer discovery requests. They think that their opposing party has that information, that if that information is available, that they should have that information that it will be hard for them to get that information, that they don’t want to share that information. There are several reasons why people do not want to participate in discovery. However, the fact of the matter is that for you to properly present your case you need to disclose information so that you can use that information in seeking the result you’re requesting. It’s super invasive. It requires years of information that you’ve never even considered or haven’t even thought about, but it’s necessary for you to get as close to the results you want as possible.

No one Truly wins if a Judge Decides

If, for some reason, you and your partner, whether it’s a co-parent or your spouse, are unable to reach an agreement or there’s a settlement agreement, a custody agreement, any number of agreements, and you have to go before a judge, there is a distinct possibility that that judge will not give you everything that you are requesting. They may give you all the custody you’re requesting, but the child support might be different. You might be awarded something, the house and use and possession, but you’re somehow responsible for paying for the mortgage during that time. There are several things that could come into play that you don’t consider, and the job of an attorney is to get you as close as possible to the goals you say you want. However, when it comes to the court, we can’t guarantee you anything if a judge is making a choice. We can get you as close to your goals if we’re working on an agreement. We can get you closer to your goals that way because we can agree to things that a judge would never consider. We can agree to a schedule that a judge may never have even conceived of and that works somehow for your family, but if the court decides it may not necessarily be what your family needs and that can impact, ultimately, how you’re going to live your life following this court order.

If you have any questions about domestic litigation whether it’s divorce, custody enforcement, or domestic violence, contact the Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams at (301) 778 – 9950 or leave an online request for a consultation.