If you are thinking of divorce, or already planning on it, you have options before you and decisions to make. One of those first important decisions is about getting good legal guidance. After that decision is made, you can relax knowing you have important legal support for the days ahead. So how do you choose a divorce lawyer in Baltimore?
Whether you live in Maryland or New York, there are basic points that can help you make a decision that will help you move through your divorce successfully. Here are a few important ideas to keep in mind:
- Take stock of your relationship: The type of relationship that you currently have with your partner will weigh heavily on the type of divorce process you will experience. If you are unhappy people looking for a way out and a path forward with your own lives, you may be good candidates for mediation, a low-cost, low-conflict means to separating your lives and moving on.
If emotions are high, each partner could retain an attorney to represent your interests, work out the details, and craft a satisfying divorce agreement without going to court. Or—if you are already in a high conflict relationship, the chances are good you will need a good trial attorney who can effectively represent you during hearings. Honestly evaluating your negotiating environment is a great first step to deciding what type of attorney you need.
- Work with an experienced family law lawyer: While it sounds easy, it is not usually a good idea to turn your divorce over to a friend, or a friend of a friend, who is an attorney, but not experienced with divorce. Seek references, talk to friends, or ask that lawyer friend of yours if they could recommend an attorney for the divorce process in which you are interested. Try to get at least three references.
- Talk and walk around: Check out websites for legal philosophy. Forget the flashy office or website. You are most likely looking for a divorce attorney who is ready to defend your interests, while being straightforward about the divorce process. Your attorney works to separate your assets, assist with issues around child custody and parenting time, and help with issues of financial support.
Your attorney is not a therapist, they are a specialist—with your best interests in mind. Make appointments with the attorneys on your short list and ask whether the attorney will meet with you at no or reduced cost—with the understanding that your meeting is to establish whether you two are a good fit—not for them to provide free legal advice about your case.
- Make your choice: When you meet with your potential attorney, ask about their hourly rates and other costs such as filing fees, or a retainer, ask for the timing of a divorce proceeding. Mention the type of relationship you have with your spouse—are you aiming for mediation or negotiation? Do you know this is going to be a battle from the get-go? Are children involved? Take stock of whether you feel the attorney is genuine and interested in getting you through the process—not draining the financial assets you need to count on to start your new life.
Most of all—listen to your intuition. If you feel this person “gets” you and your situation, it is important. If you feel they are distracted, too interested in shuffling you out the door with their card, or some other misgiving, trust yourself and move on.
- Down to business: When you have chosen your attorney and you feel good about it, they will provide you with next steps (hint: they involve gathering a careful accounting of your assets, taxes, accounts, and the like). Expect your attorney to keep your case going forward and be sure to keep appointments and respond to your attorney with needed information—whatever type of divorce process you choose.
Choosing a divorce attorney takes some effort at a time when you have precious little emotional energy left—but your decision can easily impact the ease and capability with which you move into the next stage of your life.
Talk to an experienced divorce attorney in Baltimore
When you are thinking about divorce, contact the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC. A lifelong resident of Baltimore and member of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, Ms. Goldscher is a local, experienced attorney practicing solely in the area of family and divorce law. Contact us today or call 410-602-9522.