Q: Did my family law attorney overpromise and is the attorney likely to underdeliver?
A: A word of caution—if the family law attorney you are interviewing has promised the moon and the stars, keep looking. Before offering an opinion, the attorney should be armed with all the facts. Missing facts may negate the advice given. Initial interviews should be comprehensive and organized. The interview is likely to last a couple of hours depending on the number of issues and their complexity.
Unless there is something terribly wrong with the other parent’s ability to parent, promises of sole physical and legal custody are unrealistic. Even parents who are criminals are, within reason, entitled to visitation (perhaps supervised).
In Maryland, marital property is defined as all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. There are five exceptions: 1) property owned before the marriage; 2) property inherited by one spouse during the marriage; 3) gifts received by one spouse during the marriage; 4) property excluded by valid agreement and 5) property directly traceable to any of the first four sources. Businesses started/acquired during the marriage, owned by one or both spouses (which don’t fit in one of the exceptions), are valued as marital property.
An attorney who promises that he/she will get you all the marital property is probably over promising. There are excellent attorneys who have years of experience and specialize in family law. They will offer the most realistic guidance.
Honors & Achievements: AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell. Recognized by his peers yearly in Best Lawyers of America and selected to appear in Super Lawyers for more than 15 years. Profiled as A Top Divorce Attorney by Bethesda Magazine. Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Montgomery County Bar Association.