Guide to Finding Maryland Divorce Lawyer

Guide to Finding Maryland Divorce Lawyer

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Guide to Finding Maryland Divorce Lawyer

Many states will have differing divorce laws defining the division of property and the reasons to file for divorce.  Conditions for spousal support and custody are also determined on a case by case basis.  A Maryland divorce lawyer will be able to guide you through divorce in Maryland and achieve a favorable outcome to the case.
How do I find a Maryland divorce lawyer?
Unlike many states that have the most comprehensive lawyer referral services through their respective Bar Associations, the Maryland courts system maintains a referral service to advise individuals and refer them to a proper legal representative.  A fee of $35 may be involved, but this can be bypassed by filling out and having a waiver approved.  Other referral services will direct you to state and local law associations, depending on the county. 
Additionally, several Bar Associations, such as the Maryland State Bar Association will also have member directories that are sortable and searchable to find lawyers without a referral service.
How do I prepare for my consultation?
When seeking to file a divorce, meet with the Maryland divorce lawyer to discuss strategy for the case.  You should bring documents such as a listing of shared assets, agreements between the spouses and in cases involving spousal support, documents detailing the incomes and assets of the other spouse.  Spousal support generally keeps the spouse receiving the support at the same standard of living enjoyed by the spouse prior to the divorce.  To maximize the spousal support to be paid, ensure that the Maryland divorce lawyer is aware of all assets and potential sources of income so that when the case goes to court to determine spousal support, your lawyer will be able to achieve the optimal level of support to be paid to you, especially if you are the custodial parents of any children in the marriage.
How does child support factor for divorces in Maryland?
Although the amount of child support is determined by a unique formula, the ultimate determination for the level of child support is in the hands of the court.  The formula accounts for contributions to daycare, insurance as well as overnight stays, and gross monthly income.  This is where having a Maryland divorce lawyer is an advantage of a divorce without a lawyer, or a divorce “pro se.”  The divorce lawyer, either through persuasion or preexisting relationships with Maryland legal professionals can negotiate and advocate for a higher level of child support than the number prescribed by the formula.  The Maryland divorce lawyer can also help defend the current level of child support in the event of a reassessment.  Reassessments occur if there is a significant change in the financial status of either parent, or if the income paying the child support is derived from public support payments.
What are some grounds for divorce in Maryland?
Maryland state law allows for an absolute divorce on the following grounds:
- Adultery
- Desertion of up to 12 months, without interruption
- Voluntary separation
- Conviction of a spouse on a felony or misdemeanor in any state with a sentence exceeding 3 years, after 12 months of the sentence has been served.
- Insanity after the spouse has been institutionalized for three years
- Cruelty or vicious conduct
What are specialized divorce lawyers?
Some divorce lawyers specialize in representing men or women.  These divorce lawyers will claim to be more experiences in representing the interests of the husband or wife in divorce proceedings.  These lawyers structure their practices due the popular perception of divorce courts being unfair to men, or women retaining custody being cheated out of child support.  While there is no quantifiable way to prove that these specialized lawyers make a difference for the client, some will feel at ease dealing with a lawyer that works to their needs and has special experience working with specific aspects of divorce law in Maryland.
What will I pay for the services of a Maryland divorce lawyer?
Legal fees are almost always variable and Maryland divorce lawyers will post fees as a range, rather than a set figure, to reflect the variable outcome and length of court cases.  Factors affecting your case may include a spouse disputing your support claims or right to custody.  Disputed cases are long and as such, will be more expensive.  Some lawyers will also mandate a retainer in addition to another fee arrangement, such as hourly billing.  Ensure you receive all fees in writing to avoid potential overbilling or deceptive fees on the part of the lawyer.
Some divorce services, such as mutual divorces or divorce petition preparation are offered at flat rates.  This is useful for individuals or couples that want to avoid the potentially damaging legal expenses that accompany divorce and are will to try an alternative dispute resolution to achieve an equitable division of assets.  Arrangements made through mutual divorce as just as legally binding as those made in a court of law.
A retainer is a fee that remains in a trust account.  This may become an expensive arrangement as every time the lawyer performs a service related to your case, he charges this account.  Leftover retainer can be returned to the client, but there is also a chance that the attorney will exhaust the retainer and require the client to refill the account.  The retainer does not include court costs, which are also paid by the client.  However, these fees, such as the fees for filing the case, are fixed.
Take advantage of free consultations when they are available to discuss potential fees and payment arrangements with Maryland divorce lawyers.  The above fees do not consider court costs, which are also paid by the client.  You may be able to arrange low cost and extended payment for legal services at the discretion of the attorney or law firm.
Free child support lawyers may be available to parents that cannot afford a regular lawyer to deal with custody or an adjustment of child support payments.  For all other cases, spouses seeking child support or contesting a child support petition will find the use of free child support lawyers useful.  They must be able to prove to the service that they cannot afford a lawyer under normal circumstances and that the burned placed by too much or too little child support requires them to seek the help of free child support lawyers.
What are questions to ask Maryland divorce support lawyers?
How does my case relate to Maryland state and local laws?
What are your fees and do you have alternate payment plans?
Are you an active member, in good standing, of the Maryland Bar Association?
What roles do you play as a member?
How is gross income calculated in Maryland for the purposes of child support?
Do you see any potential flaws in my child support claim?
Can you refer me to another lawyer if you are unable to take my case?
Can you represent me if I need to sue for non-payment of child support?
Divorcing couples have a number of options when selecting a divorce lawyer in Maryland.  The spouse may seek a divorce lawyer from Maryland that specializes in their gender, such as lawyers for men or lawyers for women.  These divorce lawyers in Maryland are especially suited to working on the needs of these clients in regards to spousal support and preservation of assets.  Financially burdened couples may opt for a divorce lawyer in Maryland that offers low cost services so as to avoid expensive legal proceedings that accompany extended court battles.  
There are also divorce lawyers in Maryland that deal with specific divorces such as military divorces for members of the armed forces and Christian divorce attorneys for those that would ordinarily oppose divorce on religious grounds.  These specialized lawyers for divorce will be able to deal with the nuances of divorce law, while remaining sensitive to the client’s needs.  As always, general rules when dealing with a divorce lawyer in Maryland are to get all fees in writing, choose a favorable payment plan, expect fees to mount if the case proceeds to court and always look for alternative dispute resolution, if possible.  In this way, divorce will not become a burden and neither party will have to deal with oppressive fees.

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