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Maryland’s authoritative guide to divorce.

Litigation is the most expensive of the processes, and the spouses have little control over the cost or the outcome. Interestingly, in litigated cases, 95 percent are settled before they get to trial, which means the couple ultimately makes their own decisions. However, they spend much more money getting to those decisions and the decisions are often made “on the courthouse steps,” quickly and without the time to really think about the impact. The pressure of a trial or a settlement conference causes the couple to create a settlement, but the settlement is often not well thought out. Litigated cases are not only expensive during litigation, but they result in the least satisfactory outcomes. Attorney Kathleen Wobber notes, “my litigated clients tend to be repeat clients because they are in court again and again.”

As a public service, some law firms will offer a “process option consultation.” These can last 30 minutes to an hour and range in price from $100 to $300. A lawyer will meet with both spouses and will not obtain any information about the case. The purpose is to simply discuss the process options and have any questions answered. Often in the process options consultation, the spouses will together choose an option and the lawyer can provide resources for the spouses who have chosen a particular option. Spouses do not need to get along to attend the process options consultation, but they do need to be willing to sit in the same room and thoughtfully listen. If you and your spouse would like to schedule a phone or in person process option consultation, click here