Maryland Divorce Attorneys
In some situations, divorcing couples are unable to resolve matters through mediation or negotiations. Such matters must be litigated, and it is sometimes the only option.
Discovery is the exchange, usually after formal written requests, of financial records of all types. It can also involve some investigatory work where one-party suspects that the other is not “coming clean.” Discovery also usually includes depositions, which are oral examinations under oath of each party and sometimes of third-party witnesses. In heavily litigated cases, discovery can be lengthy and costly.
Where there are real properties, businesses, professional practices or other tangible or intangible assets that are considered relevant to the marriage, professional evaluators are often retained, at the parties’ expense, to do the necessary appraisals or valuations. In the case of contested custody matters, forensic psychological experts may be retained, also at the parties’ expense, to evaluate the family situation with an eye to a court decision on custody, visitation, and other parental matters. In contested custody cases, a law guardian may also be appointed to represent the interests of the children in the lawsuit.
Support and Parenting Access Schedules
At the beginning of litigation there are usually issues relating to the support of one spouse and/or children during the lawsuit. Such expenses as insurance, medical care, childcare, school expenses, and the like also have to be addressed. In addition, parenting time with children during the lawsuit must be arranged.
All the above matters, as well as other matters such as abusive behavior, contested occupancy of the marital residences, travel arrangements, and the like, can sometimes be resolved by negotiation. But many times, they involve motions. Motions are applications on papers made to the judge assigned to the case and resolved, after the filing of papers and oral argument, by decisions issued by the judge.
Once discovery and evaluations are completed, if the case is not settled, it is set for trial. Depending on the complexity of the issues, trial can take days or even weeks to complete. At that time, a judge will decide the issues for custody, property, child support, etc. An appeal to the Court of Special Appeals and, in rare cases, a further appeal to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, is also available.
If you or a loved one are seeking a divorce, contact us immediately for a free case evaluation. The sooner we can get access to your case file, the stronger our chances of getting you a favorable result.