“ Steve and Renee were great to work with! Very professional and realistic. Gave no false expectations or predictions. They communicated everything to us in a timely manner. We will definitely use them again if ever needed! Thank you, Steve and your team! “
“ For my family law case, Steve Smith had a very strong presence and was dominant in the courtroom. The manner in which he carries out cases is something you see in the movies. He was really animated and passionate about my case. His military background is a big asset, and he really helped me out. I would highly recommend him. “
“ We hired Leah M. Baldacci for a family law case and she was so extremely helpful and got me through my case. She’s very professional and takes the time to listen to her clients. She’s a wonderful advocate and a fantastic attorney. If you’re looking for a great attorney, I recommend Leah. Thank you so much for your legal help. “
“ I’ve hired Steve for two cases, and I am very pleased with my decision. He fights for his clients and strives for the best outcome. His entire staff is pleasant and wonderful to work with. “
“ I hired Steve for a parental rights case involving my 2 children. He was aggressive but supportive and did not file unnecessary motions that wasted my retainer. I was terrified of court, but with his experience, I felt at ease. The process was explained, and his staff was great as well. I would hire him again if needed and received a great outcome with an order that works for me and my children. “
Handled my Parental Rights Case with Ease
The path a divorce case will take can be unpredictable, but some basic steps will apply to nearly all couples. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare. For specific legal guidance on your divorce or family law case, contact our office today.
A divorce legally begins when one spouse files the necessary forms, including a Complaint for Divorce, with the appropriate district court. The spouse filing will be known as the plaintiff. Copies of the forms must be provided to the other spouse, known as the defendant, in a process called “service” before they can be filed in court. Improper service or incomplete information at this step can complicate your case down the road. Your attorney can assist you in completing the forms correctly and ensure that the papers are served properly.
To assist in dividing property and debts, each spouse must provide certain financial disclosures to the court and the other spouse during a divorce. This is generally a routine process. However, if you believe your spouse is concealing or misusing assets, you’ll need an experienced trial attorney who can use various methods of discovery to compel your spouse to reveal their true financial circumstances.
The next step is for both parties to appear in court together. This is known as a Case Management Conference when minor children are involved in the relationship. For cases without children, the first court appearance is called a Pre-Trial Conference.
At this conference, if both spouses are in complete agreement on all issues, including parental rights and property division, they can submit a proposed settlement to the court. If the judge approves the settlement, a final uncontested hearing may be conducted on the same day. If there are any contested issues, the court and spouses together must determine how to resolve them before the case can be settled.
In many contested divorce cases, mediation is used to attempt to resolve conflicts. For divorces involving children in Maine, mediation is often required. But it’s important to note that while attending mediation may be required, you cannot be ordered to accept an agreement or compromise reached during mediation.
When domestic violence is a concern, your attorney may be able to persuade the court that mediation will not be effective or to allow each spouse to meet with the mediator separately.
Some matters need to be addressed before the divorce is finalized, like where your children will live or who may access funds in joint bank accounts. If these issues are not settled during mediation or need to be decided sooner, your attorney can request an interim order from the court. Interim orders are designed to address specific, narrow issues and will only remain in effect until the final divorce settlement is issued.
Negotiations between you and your ex-spouse will continue if no agreement is reached in mediation. Our team will make every reasonable effort to settle your case through negotiations. We are tough but fair advocates for you and your family. But when the other side simply won’t agree to a fair divorce settlement, our litigators will fight for you in court at a divorce hearing. After the hearing, any remaining disputed issues will be decided by the judge. In high-conflict cases that require a contested hearing, you will need an aggressive, experienced trial attorney on your side.
After the hearing, the court will issue a final order. The court may issue the order right away, or take the case “under advisement” and issue a ruling to each side and their attorney(s) by mail.
It is possible to appeal or object to a final order; however, there are strict requirements and time limits for submitting an appeal. It is far better to work toward a favorable settlement before a final order is issued, and our attorneys can help you do just that. We understand that when your family and your financial future are on the line, every case is high-stakes, and we treat it that way. Contact the STEVE SMITH Trial Lawyers today to learn more about how we can make your divorce easier.
I received a copy of my son's appeal prepared by Carl E. Woock. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to read this appeal.…
Has a ton of experience. Knows the court and the other attorney which should be helpful.
He is a wonderful attorney, and I definitely recommend him. Thank you very much for your help & support, Steve!
Contacted me promptly & provided professional & extremely useful info which allowed me to have a better understanding of the legal context of the issue.
A+, very helpful & understanding. I'm sure he could've charged much more. I will go to him again if I ever have a legal issue.
We understand that your priority is to secure a better future, whether that’s through a divorce or by modifying your parenting arrangements. Our skilled attorneys use every resource at our disposal to overcome obstacles. Our full commitment to you drives us to achieve outstanding results.
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