Divorce lawyers wear many different hats. They are your gladiator in the courtroom and a friendly shoulder to lean on. Filing for divorce in Maryland can be both financially and emotionally draining especially if it drags on for years with no end in sight.
For this reason, you need to choose the best divorce lawyer to help you get the most favorable outcome at the end of the process. But how do you know you have the right one? What are some of the qualities you should look out for to let you know that you made the best decision?
This post explores some of the top attributes of the best divorce lawyers in Maryland.
Before you settle for a particular attorney, ask to see their resume. Find out what degrees they hold and more importantly, the institutions from which they graduated. Have a look at their licenses and check which states they are authorized to practice law in.
This is important because, if you live in Maryland, whereas your estranged spouse lives in an entirely different state like Virginia, your lawyer should be knowledgeable in Virginia and Maryland divorce laws. That way they can adequately handle all related matters.
Additionally, they should be able to apply the state’s respective laws as pertains to getting you either of the following:
- Uncontested divorce Maryland
- Absolute divorce in Maryland
- Limited divorce in Maryland
Also, check which professional associations your lawyer is a member of and if they are actively involved. Ask them to provide you with a list of references from both their past clients, senior attorneys as well as judges who’ve presided over their cases in the past. This will be the stamp of approval you need to know that they are qualified to handle divorce matters.
Professionalism is a highly underrated quality in the legal profession. It is second only to the qualifications a lawyer bears. A divorce lawyer displays professionalism when they:
- Are always punctual
- Never miss deadlines
- Are extraordinarily thorough when it comes to case details
- Are always respectful towards clients
This is important for two reasons. First, it tells you that they take their work seriously and will work diligently to get you the best results in your divorce case. Second, it builds up the attorney’s reputation in the legal fraternity.
You’ll be able to effectively gage your lawyer’s level of professionalism during your first consultation with them. If they display a genuine interest in your case and asks you questions that go into specific details about what you expect and what they are capable of delivering, then that’s the mark of a great divorce lawyer.
Even the best divorce attorney is only as good as their availability. An attorney may very well be highly-qualified and skilled at what they do. They may even have a track record of wins from here to Timbuktu. But, if they never make time for you and your case, then it’s all a zero-sum game.
Their availability is a direct reflection of how successful your divorce in Maryland will be. Before settling on a lawyer in some big-shot firm to represent your interests in a divorce, be sure to find out how many other cases they’re currently handling.
If their caseload is too heavy, there’s the likelihood that they might drop the ball. A great lawyer has an ample amount of time to dedicate to your case and give it all the attention it deserves.
The best divorce lawyers never lose their composure. This is especially important in divorce litigations when the tension in the courtroom could easily boil over. You certainly don’t want someone who has a history of flying off the handle representing you in court.
This not only aggravates the presiding judge who is the ultimate deciding factor in the outcome of your divorce, but it is also a sign that at some point down the line, that aggression will be directed towards you when you don’t agree with them.
Confidence is often mistaken for arrogance. It is one of those attributes where you can’t tell if they have it or are pretending to. Either way, it works! The best divorce lawyers have the uncanny ability to take charge of a room full of people and make everyone believe in their vision.
They have a commanding presence that can make any judge sit up and pay attention. That’s the kind of attorney you want representing you. They’ll be able to argue your case articulately and present any information as fact. To get a fair settlement in your divorce your attorney needs to be assertive and confident enough to voice your demands. Litigation is no place for timid lawyers.
The last thing you want is to hire a fresh-out-of-law-school lawyer to handle your divorce. While they may very well be capable of zealously handling your case, your divorce shouldn’t be used as someone’s guinea pig. You want to get a lawyer with a laundry list of wins to represent you.
This only comes from many years of practicing family law. Graduating from a top-rated law school is great and all, but you also want someone who’s graduated from “the school of life”.
There are lots of things that can’t be taught in a classroom. Top lawyers have many years of experience under their belt during which time they’ve learned a lot of tricks of the trade.
The cornerstone of your relationship with your attorney should be founded on honesty. The last thing you need is a lawyer who’s constantly blowing smoke up your derriere, telling you that everything is going well when in fact it isn’t.
Great attorneys are not afraid to tell you the truth even when they know you don’t want to hear it. A client-attorney relationship based on honestly produces the best results.
Have a Keen Eye
The top divorce attorneys have all the characteristics detailed in this post. If you can spot these qualities quickly before you retain them to represent you in your divorce, then you can rest easy that they’ll go to bat for you and get you a settlement you deserve. If you wait to learn about your lawyer’s unpleasant traits after the process has already begun, the likelihood of success reduces significantly.
If you have more legal questions, you can also chat online with a Laws101.com attorney where you’ll be instantly connected to a lawyer who can give you legal guidance on your specific case or question.