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Updated by Amar Weisman on Sep 13, 2017
Headline for 4 Tips for a Faster Maryland Divorce Process
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Amar Weisman Amar Weisman
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4 Tips for a Faster Maryland Divorce Process

Divorce can be a lengthy and difficult process, but it doesn’t have to be. There are four key steps you can take to help move things forward so you can move forward with your life. Read on to learn more.

1

Arm yourself with information

Even before you meet with a divorce lawyer, you should begin the process of assembling as much information and documentation as you can about your family’s finances. One of the most complex and time-consuming parts of the Maryland divorce process is putting together a complete picture of the assets, liabilities, and other aspects of a couple’s financial life. Property cannot be divided and child support or spousal maintenance obligations can’t be determined without this information.

The martial home, pensions, investments, IRAs and Social Security benefits, a family business, each spouse’s income – all of this impacts how much time will be spent figuring out these key issues. The more information you can provide your attorney upfront about these matters, the less time your attorney will have to spend putting it together. This will not only advance the process, it will save you money on attorney’s fees.

2

Keep your emotions in check

Divorce may involve a lot of dollars and cents issues, but it also implicates intense emotions, many of which can be destructive, negative, or counterproductive. If you let any such feelings control the decisions you make or actions you take during the divorce process, you will inevitably cause the process to bog down in petty arguments, game-playing, or other distractions which will not help you and your spouse reach agreements and resolve disputes.

Instead, your attorney will spend their time and your money fighting avoidable and counterproductive battles which can throw the process off course. You may have no control as to how your spouse handles their emotions and conducts him or herself, but if you can keep your cool and make rational choices in as business-like a fashion as possible, you can minimize obstacles that stand in the way of progress in your divorce.

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3. Be open to compromise and agreement

Contested issues in a divorce get resolved in one of two ways: either the parties reach agreement on core matters such as custody, visitation, property division, and living arrangements, or a judge will make those decisions instead. If a judge has to make these calls, be prepared for a long and contentious trial that will keep your divorce on the docket for a while.

On the other hand, the more you and your spouse can agree upon, the less there is to fight about. That doesn’t mean that you should roll over and agree to anything just for the sake of expedience. It does mean you should be as civil and as matter-of-fact as possible during negotiations and, with your attorney’s guidance and advice, be open to compromise.

4

Be prepared for the final hearing.

Even if you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement, there are still steps that must be taken to finalize the divorce. You may be subject to what is referred to as an "uncontested hearing." During this time, you will be required to testify as to the grounds of the divorce (even if you both agree on all terms). Also, your agreement will be put on record and incorporated into the final divorce decree. Once this is done, it will be an enforceable order. Please note, however, if you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement, your case will go to trial and the court will ultimately make a decision with respect to any remaining issues and issue a final divorce decree or judgment.

5

Get the right divorce lawyer

If you want your Maryland divorce to drag on and on, choose a lawyer who doesn’t conduct themselves with civility and professionalism; one who doesn’t know the law, doesn’t understand the process, and doesn’t appreciate your unique situation, concerns, and priorities. Your lawyer should facilitate the resolution of problems, not create new ones. A good Maryland divorce lawyer will know how to reach fair agreements whenever possible while still being prepared to fight vigorously and effectively on your behalf when necessary. A skilled and experienced divorce attorney will know that you want the process concluded quickly and fairly, and will do everything in their power to make that happen.