Before filing for divorce with the help of a Maryland family lawyer, you might want to know the steps involved in a divorce. The more you’re informed, the easier it will be to prepare and to know what’s coming next.
Talk with Your Spouse
You may be able to work some things out together in “kitchen table” negotiations that eliminate spending time or money in court. If you don’t want a judge to determine what happens to assets or with children, you can decide on your own. Look for any opportunity to achieve compromise before going to court.
Speak with a Lawyer
It’s also vital to know your own rights. You should know your legal options and the terms that might influence your divorce. There are different kinds of divorce and grounds for divorce in Maryland, so explore these first. You may want to ask your Baltimore family lawyer if an alternative method of dispute resolution such as collaborative divorce, mediation, or settlement is possible. Even if you agree with your spouse on how the divorce will be handled, make sure you have a lawyer to draft documents and file them for you as this expedites the process.
File a Complaint, Serve Your Spouse, and Receive an Answer
Your spouse must receive this document with a Writ of Summons from the court. Your spouse must answer this complaint with responses to your points, and then the case begins. From here, you’ll have a scheduling conference with the court to set next dates.
Work on Settlement
Especially if you agree with your spouse, your attorney may draft a Marital Settlement Agreement to incorporate your wishes and your spouse’s wishes. Depending on the court, you may be required or recommended to attend mediation with a third-party mediator.
Attend a Hearing or Trial
If the involved parties settle all the issues and submit an agreement to the court, there will be a hearing with a judge, which is usually short and sometimes virtual (if there is an attorney involved). The purpose of the hearing is to confirm that the parties are in agreement and are ready to divorce. An full trial in front of a judge may be required if the parties cannot agree on all issues.
Receive a Judgment of Divorce
Your Judgment of Divorce must be signed before you are officially divorced. Make sure to get a gold seal copy for yourself. You should always talk to an attorney to help you navigate the process more quickly and easily and with your interests as their top priority. Contact the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher to learn more about filing for divorce in Maryland.