Getting a divorce? Is it in Howard County? Somewhere else within the State of Maryland? Drawing a blank? Sick and tired of reading on the Internet or social media?
Do yourself a favor. Pick what appears to be a highly experienced divorce attorney and get a no charge consult.
Not every experienced divorce attorney provides a no charge consult.
More importantly, with both no charge consults, as well as many consultations that you pay for, you do not get any actual advice at that first meeting. What you might end up getting is “hire me, pay my retainer and I will give you my thought and expertise, because I do not give that away for free.”
If you get that answer, politely thank the attorney for the consult, stand up and leave.
Here is what a typical initial consultation with a highly experienced divorce attorney should look like, whether it is in Howard County or elsewhere in the State of Maryland.
1. The attorney needs information from you, including background information regarding you, your spouse and children.
2. The attorney needs to know the past history of parenting, as well as the present, with regard to child custody and visitation matters.
3. That attorney needs to get a good thumbnail sketch regarding assets and liabilities, income and expenses for both you and your spouse, as well as your financial history, jobs and future earning and employment capacity.
4. The attorney needs to ask you what your goals are, what is important to you and what is not important to you.
5. After learning all of this information, the attorney should be able to provide you with several, and I mean several, options and alternatives how to proceed, allowing you to decide which path you would like to try.
Divorce does not have a single path. Here are some paths just one divorce may have:
1. You and your spouse meet, chat and figure out everything the divorce attorney tells you to, and you then go back to the divorce attorney to put together a written separation agreement.
2. You, your spouse and both of your attorneys sit down and meet and figure everything out.
3. You and your spouse use a third party to help resolve all of the issues. That third party might be a divorce mediator, a friend, a family member, clergy, or someone else.
4. You begin the divorce process in Court, and throughout the divorce process, mediators, settlement judges and others assist you in resolving the matters.
5. You might end up in Court. Sometimes, a single hearing is all it takes for parties to realize they do not want to come back to Court. Sometimes, you do not have a choice because the other spouse is forcing you to go to Court. It is sad, but it sometimes occurs.
Every journey starts with a single step.
Your first step should always be to a highly experienced divorce attorney, an initial no charge consult, options and recommendations for how to proceed.
If you do not see the path before you, make an appointment with someone else. This is your life, the life of your children and all of your children at stake that you are entrusting to your divorce attorney. Don’t take it likely. The most successful divorce attorneys don’t take it lightly, either.