HOW TO WIN A DIVORCE CASE IN MARYLAND
Founder/Owner THE FIRM, LLC
Maryland divorce cases can be simple and straightforward: so simple that no attorneys are necessary because the parties agree on all major decisions; to include but not necessarily limited to: the ground for divorce, custody and child support (if minor children are involved), alimony, retirement, personal property distribution (to include all automobiles), real property distribution, and how all debts will be paid.
Absent a full agreement by the parties, litigation will be necessary and unless there’s an agreement, a Judge or Family Law Magistrate will decide the fate of the parties and their minor children.
Below is a basic primer on some of the most important factors one must remember in order to be successful at trial.
1. BE A REASONABLE CLIENT
a. Family law courts are based on relief that is equitable. Therefore, the Judge will be looking for a resolution that is fair to everyone. Requesting an outcome that is totally unreasonable may not work in your favor. It is okay to have goals that are lofty (a shoot for the moon approach) but balance these requests with an alternative that is reasonable.
There are times when two options are proposed in divorce litigations and the Judge may choose one, as opposed with creating a resolution. If provided two options and one offer appear totally unreasonable, be sure the opposing party in a divorce case will receive what they request.
2. MAKE SURE YOUR ATTORNEY IS REASONABLE
a. Now that you are coming in with a reasonable divorce proposal, be sure your Counsel is not attempting to “move” you toward a position you are not trying to take in your divorce case. I have been part of many cases where the opposing side has taken positions that were totally unreasonable.
Of course, this is my opinion…it also happened to be the Judge’s opinion in the end. Thousands of dollars and countless hours were spent on defending against a very weak allegation, which ultimately led to a dismissal of the claim.
At the outset of the case of divorce case , I inform the client of the strengths and weaknesses of the case, and what allegations we may assert in the beginning that may have to be dropped later on because it lacks facts that will enable up to prove the allegation.
a. The final factor I will cover but the one that may be the most important in a divorce case is CREDIBILITY.
The Judge sits down and although he/she may be familiar with the lawyer(s), the Judge doesn’t know the parties or the child(ren). If a client is perceived as untrustworthy, he/she will have a difficult time in a divorce case. There are certain decisions that are less flexible than others i.e. child support may be awarded based on the strict application of the Maryland Child Support Guidelines.
However, visitation/access schedules and legal custody are guided more on fairness and what is in the best interest of the child(ren). Testimony in a divorce case that is delivered with a sense of being false weakens your case. Your attorney should help you prepare for trial and/or deposition.
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