For some people, hiring a divorce lawyer is their first foray into the legal community. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are already feeling stressed about the end of your marriage. While we normally discuss how we can help our clients, today we wanted to give you some guidelines for how you can help us keep your case running smoothly, with the least amount of pressure or worry possible.
Communication, communication, communication
Communication is a two-way street. In order for us to do our best for our clients, we keep in constant communication with them: phone calls, emails, texts, and consultations. Because so many of our clients work full-time, we often leave our clients voicemails, or send them emails over a secure server, in order to set up a consultation or a time to chat.
One of the most important things you can do as a client is regularly check your email and voicemail. If you have a preferred method of communication, let us know. It is important to us that you get the information you need at every step of your divorce process, so that you can make informed decisions.
Remember that the deadlines are set by the court, or in the law
Like every area of practice, family law cases have to proceed along strict timelines, or they can be delayed. Those deadlines may be set by a judge, or they may be laid out in Maryland’s legal code, depending on what services you have hired us to perform. Meeting those deadlines is a critical component of your case for two reasons:
- Judges do not like to be kept waiting.
- Delays can cost you time and money.
One way to ensure that you never miss a deadline for turning in documentation (or for a hearing, when necessary) is to set two reminders on your phone’s calendar: one for the day before something is due, and one for a few hours before something is due. It might seem repetitive at first, but trust us; those extra reminders can really help, especially when you’re balancing work, family, and social obligations.
Ask us what paperwork you need
There are some documents that our divorce attorneys will request from opposing counsel, or from financial institutions. Others, however, you will need to supply. If you do not know what you need to bring, ask us. We will explain what kinds of documentation you need, and what you can leave at home. As a general rule, we will need copies of:
- Your pay stubs
- Your spouse’s pay stubs
- Your tax returns
- Your financial statements
- Your mortgage documents
- Statements from savings, checking, and investment accounts
- Statements for your pension, retirement, 401K, and other investments
- Statements of outstanding debts, including car loans or credit cards
- Your life insurance policy
One important thing to remember is that the documentation you bring us during your initial consultation may need to be updated as your case progresses. From time to time, we may ask you to send us updated information for your file.
If you want to ensure you do not lose anything, consider purchasing a document folder, or an expanding case file. You can put everything in there, so that it’s all in the same place.
When in doubt, show up early
Nobody likes waiting – especially judges. It is always better to be a bit early, when you can.
The same is true for your consultation times with your attorney. Being late to appointments starts a cascade for every client, because we will not hurry through a meeting, or cut a meeting short, because we are behind schedule. Every client gets our full, undivided attention.
If you are running late – it happens, we know – then give us a call and let us know. If you need to reschedule an appointment, we can and will do that, so that you receive that same, undivided attention.
Remember that we are in this together
When you hire McCabe Russell, you do more than hire a lawyer – you decide to partner with a team of experienced legal professionals who have your best interests in mind. We are part of your support system, and we do what is needed to help you move through your divorce in a healthy and stress-free way. Over the years, we have helped our clients find financial planners, counselors, and even daycare facilities who can help them move forward with their new lives. We can do the same for you, too.
McCabe Russell, PA is the law firm your friends and family trust to help them adjust to their new realities. When you are ready to take that step, we will be here. Please call 443-917-3347 or fill out this contact form to reserve a consultation time at one of our offices in Fulton, Columbia, Bethesda or Rockville.