24 Hours Before Your Divorce: Best Practices

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 best practices 24 hours before your divorce.


It is very important to keep your head in the game right before your divorce. You don’t want to be overly stressed. You don’t want to be answering a bunch of last-minute frantic text messages from your spouse. You don’t want to have a lot of other issues compounding the situation and making it hard for you to have a clear head going into your divorce hearing. You want to de-stress as much as you can in light of that situation so that you can put your best foot forward in dealing with your divorce.

Review your Evidence

It’s important for you to review your documentation if you provided documents during Discovery. If you provided exhibits to your attorney, it’s important for you to review them before your hearing. For example, if you have pay statements, you want to make sure that you can quickly find the information you need such as the date the pay statements were established, their gross pay, what other deductions you have, how frequently those deductions are coming out. You want to know the information that’s going to be presented to the court so that you can be comfortable in that because sometimes this information might have been presented months or even weeks ago and you may not recall all the things that were going on, in the thought process going on when providing that information to your attorney. So, it’s important to review the evidence that is being planned to be presented to the court before, so that you know, kind of, where you’re going and to make sure that you can control the flow of your story.

Review your Discovery Responses

Discovery can be a very voluminous and time-consuming process. It’s hard to know how much of that information is important for you to review prior to your hearing for your divorce. I think it’s important for you to review the documents you provided, but I also think it’s important for you to review the documents the opposing party provided, that way you kind of understand where they’re going. You understand what text messages they’re going to be bringing up. You can understand that if some of those text messages are missing information that you know you’ve provided, you can bring that to your attorney’s attention. You want to make sure you understand their story, but not necessarily allow their story to impact the story you intend to present to the court.

Review your Statements

In many domestic cases there are several statements that need to be filed with the court. You may need to file a parenting plan, a financial statement, a marital property statement, or even pre-trial statements. It’s important to know what your statements say, if there’s any changes in your statements, and what your ultimate goals are in preparing those documents. For example, I try to make sure that my clients have very thorough parenting plans. So thorough that even if they couldn’t remember what we talked about, just looking at that parenting plan will define what they need, to define and show exactly the type of schedule they want to have with their children and the issues that are their major concerns. If you review those documents, at least prior to the hearing, you will know what you stated. You will know what your goals are regarding access, legal custody, communication, and alternative dispute resolution. You will know where you’re going so your lawyer can help get you there.

Confirm the Hearing Type and Location

In a post-covid world your hearing may be virtual, or it may be in person and it’s important for you to know that at least 24 hours before your hearing. I say 24 hours before because some courts don’t provide that information until approximately 24 hours before your hearing. So, you want to know if it’s by Zoom or by Blue Jeans. You want to make sure you have the zoom information. You want to make sure you know which courthouse you will be in and what time you’re supposed to be there, and you want to make sure you have a way to communicate with your attorney before your hearing in case there’s an emergency or something happens, and you need to be able to communicate with your lawyer quickly.

Follow up with your Attorney about any Last-Minute Questions

You should of have prepared for your trial well before 24 hours before your hearing, but there are a lot of things that could come up at the last minute, a lot of anxieties a lot of problems or fires that need to be put out. It is important for you and your lawyer to be on the same page about court processes, about security at the courthouse, about how you’re going to communicate, and if there’s anything that comes up that needs to be addressed. Lots of things can happen at the very last minute, and the eve before trial and it’s important that both of you are on the same page so that you can go into that hearing as confident as you can be.

If you have any questions about divorce hearings procedures or any other domestic related issues in Maryland, contact the Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams at (301) 778 – 9950 or leave an online request for a consultation.