We, here at the Law Office of Thomas Stahl, have said this many times before and it must be repeated: obtaining a divorce is not a “do-it-yourself” process. Even for a “simple” divorce by mutual consent, the spouses need the protection of legal counsel. You could be “leaving” assets and support payments “on the table” and your spouse could be taking advantage of you. You need to understand your legal rights under Maryland divorce statutes and DC divorce laws. This is even more true for more complicated divorces involving extensive marital property and the need for alimony. Here are a few reasons that you need to hire experienced Maryland/DC attorneys for your divorce.
Full, informed and expert advice and counsel
As noted, experienced Maryland divorce attorneys and DC divorce attorneys can provide you with expert advice on your legal rights. For example, under both jurisdictions, you are entitled to an “equitable” distribution of marital assets. Importantly, the statutes do NOT say “equal.” The statutes say “equitable” which means you might be entitled to MORE than an equal share depending on the circumstances. As another example, you are entitled to a share of ALL marital property. But you need competent Maryland/DC divorce and family law attorneys to help you understand how “marital property” is legally defined. For example, marital property includes:
- Retirement accounts
- Insurance policies and proceeds
- Accrued bonuses and other income even if not yet paid
- All real property bought during the marriage even if the title is in one spouse’s name
- All personal and real property that has been used in the marriage even if the property was owned by only one spouse before the marriage
- The increase in value during the marriage of an asset — like a family business — that is owned separately by one spouse
- Family pets
- And more
Your spouse might be lying and/or hiding assets
Sadly, there is always the possibility that your spouse is lying about your rights and/or is hiding assets. Expert Maryland divorce lawyers and DC divorce attorneys know the “warning signs” of a lying spouse and one who is trying to hide assets. Your trusted attorneys also know the best and most effective techniques for uncovering the hidden assets. As noted above, you are entitled to an equitable division of ALL marital assets.
Preventing mistakes in the legal process and speeding the process
Divorce laws in Maryland and DC are complex. Experienced Maryland/DC divorce lawyers know the rules, know how to draft the papers correctly — the first time — and know how to get the papers properly delivered to your spouse. All of this helps you avoid mistakes and ensures you get your divorce as quickly as possible.
Removing the hassle and the stress
For the same reasons, hiring proven Maryland/DC divorce attorneys removes the stress and the hassle of trying to do your own divorce. Getting divorced is stressful enough without having to learn how to draft divorce papers, go to the courthouse, file the papers, then get the papers properly delivered to your spouse and then appear in open court before the Maryland or DC divorce judge. Letting your dedicated Maryland/DC team of divorce lawyers handle the papers and the process gives you time to focus on your family and getting through your divorce.
Handling your spouse and avoiding the bullying
Just as importantly, severe stress is reduced by allowing your aggressive Maryland/DC divorce lawyers to handle all the interactions with your spouse. You do not need to have a negotiation session that is likely to become a shouting match. Your attorneys will handle that and, if need be, bring the issues to the divorce court for resolution.
Maryland and DC Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
For more information, contact the seasoned and experienced Maryland and DC divorce, family law and estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl. We have the experience and expertise you need. We also have proven experience with divorce and family law for Maryland and the District of Columbia. Schedule a consultation today or call us at (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280. We have offices in Columbia, MD and Washington, DC.