If you have any previous Court Orders from any Court about the child or children and their custody, I will want to see them. Other than that you probably don’t need to bring any documents to this type of consult. They won’t help that much.
Most custody cases are decided based on what is in the best interests of the child. This standard focuses on a multitude of factors, like the age of the child, the connection of the child to each parent, where the child lives, etc. See our Free Legal Consumer Guide on Custody for more details.
If there is a prior Court Order on the issue of custody, there needs to be a material change of circumstance that would be in the best interest of the child to change custody. This means something big has to be different from the time when the Court most recently made an order about custody.
Child support is all about the numbers. These numbers include each party’s income, the cost of health insurance, the cost of daycare and the number of overnights with each parent.
To the extent you have documentation that shows these numbers, I would like to see it. The more accurate your data – the more accurate my answer. Read our Free Legal Consumer Guide on child support for more on what we need to discuss.
With adoption cases, most of the first consultation will be talking about whether the adoption is the best legal plan for your situation. Sometimes an adoption is very easy and clear cut. Sometimes adoption can be very complicated.
At the adoption consult, we will discuss the status of the biological parents and whether they agree with an adoption. This is often the biggest issue in an adoption case.
When we file the adoption there will a lot of paperwork to file with the Court, but that can wait until after the first consultation.
Setting the Fee:
Once we agree on a strategy I can tell you what your case will cost. We may be able to do your case for a flat fee if it is very simple, but most often the fee will be hourly and we will establish a retainer.
I can give you an estimate of how much this should cost, but so much depends on the actions of the other party and their attorney. They may engage in actions that you must respond to, and it is very difficult to know right now if they will do that or not.
Conclusion & Next Steps
The best thing in any family law case is to be as honest as possible when we meet. All family law cases are fact driven. The unique facts of your situation will determine the advice I give you. The more truthful and detailed you can be – the better advice I can give you.
I look forward to our meeting. Call us if you have any questions.
Want to know more? Discover what you need to know about divorce in Maryland. Click here to see our Free Legal Consumer Guide to divorce cases in Maryland and get answers to your questions today. Click here to read our Free Legal Consumer Guide to Child Custody. Know your options. Be informed. Protect yourself.
Need a divorce lawyer or child custody attorney? Please contact us for a consultation today if you need a Maryland divorce lawyer for your family law case.
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