Tip No. 1 Choosing your Court. In Maryland there are two Courts that are the proper place to file a family law case. In the District Court, judges hear emergency petitions relating to domestic violence, as well as applications for peace orders. The relief is somewhat limited because the purpose is to prevent harm to spouses, children, and certain family members. In the Circuit Court, in addition to emergency petitions for protection from domestic violence, the Court has the power or jurisdiction to hear a wider range of cases, such as divorce, child custody, support and visitation, adoption, guardianship, and most other family law matters.
Tip No. 2. Assemble your documents. For issues involving child support, and alimony, as well as marital property organize all documents such as deeds, mortgages insurance policies, bank account statements and retirement plans.
Tip No. 3. Keep a diary or make a chronology of the facts. In disputed cases it is important for you to be accurate. Write down information about the details, such as who, what, when, how and why, giving names of any witnesses.
Tip No. 4. Preserve other evidence. In cases involving violence take photographs of all injures and obtain hospital records, doctor's notes, and witnesses who observed any injuries. If the police investigated or Social Services were involved, keep a contact of information.
Tip No. 5. Contact a Lawyer. Lawyers can serve clients in a variety of ways. For example an attorney can be consulted early when question arise that will save problems from occurring. An attorney can work with you to resolve situations by providing you with resources and telling you about the available relief. For a discussion of divorce, see the Divorce Law Article on this website.