Divorce can be a difficult process emotionally. Sometimes it is the only way to move forward in life. Not all Maryland divorces look exactly the same, but there are some procedural steps that they have in common.

First, one spouse puts the divorce in writing by filing what known as a petition and summons. The petition and summons are served on the other party. It is important to be proactive and seek out legal help right away. Waiting or procrastinating when people are faced with legal challenges, like being denied the ability to visit their kids or facing eviction from a home can make them look bad in legal proceedings. The second step in the process is for the spouse on the receiving end of the petition and summons to respond. People should always pick an attorney that they trust and who will address their legal concerns. They should not choose an attorney to be their best friend or therapist.

The negotiation phase is often the next step in the divorce process. Both parties reveal their financial situation, including any income, debts and assets. When a couple can no longer negotiate the financial issues like property division and spousal support between themselves, legal help will most likely be needed. The last step of the divorce is the final order adopting the legal terms, whether reached through negotiation or mediation or determined by a court after litigation.

Divorce can be an emotional process. That’s why it’s important for those going through a divorce to choose an attorney that they can trust. A family law attorney can often assist a client who wants the process to be over with quickly to obtain a more equitable settlement agreement.