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Preparing for a divorce consultation

An individual who is considering filing for divorce in Maryland may want to be prepared in advance of a first legal consultation. Being ready with personal information will minimize the need for having to collect important details later so that a reasonable evaluation of the situation can be made at the outset. During a first meeting, a prospective lawyer will listen as the potential client provides not only these details but also an overview of the situation and their goals.

Because the end of a marriage can be stressful, a lawyer will need to have as much detail as possible about financial and family matters so that the major issues can be analyzed. Child custody and parenting time can be challenging to work out amicably, but a lawyer can provide a realistic view of what to expect. Similarly, financial details can be challenging to work through during a divorce. However, a clear understanding of one's assets and debts can provide the background for establishing reasonable financial goals.

Office staff will typically check to be sure that there aren't any conflicts that could interfere with a lawyer's ability to represent the prospective client. At a first meeting, a client can determine whether there is a reasonable comfort level in working with the lawyer in question. Additionally, pricing and payment expectations can be discussed. A lawyer may offer recommendations for alternative divorce resolution options if there is a belief that the issue can be settled somewhat amicably outside of the court system.

Although alternative divorce resolution is a means of avoiding extensive court costs, it may not be appropriate for a couple that has a difficult time working together. Additionally, this may not be the best legal option if there are reasonable concerns about the other parent's access to the children. Issues that might demand more oversight by the courts could include a parent's level of fitness for childcare due to drug use, criminal activity or a pattern of domestic violence.

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