DRCLogo Wide v06 Web 01

Maryland’s authoritative guide to divorce.

In divorce, the MOST IMPORTANT choice a couple can make is HOW they will divorce. The DIVORCE PROCESS a couple chooses determines how expensive their divorce will be, how much control they will have over their divorce and how well their family does after the divorce is over. Unfortunately, many clients allow their attorneys to make this choice for them, rather than taking control of their own futures.

When a couple is divorcing, it is unlikely they agree on much. It is important that both spouses are educated about the five DIVORCE PROCESS OPTIONS methods) for divorce. With four of the options, the couple must both choose the same method, or they are stuck with litigation - - the most expensive process and the route which gives the couple the least control over the outcome of their divorce. The chart below describes, in graphic format, the five process options:

pdfClick here for a PDF of this chart

The first process option, DIRECT NEGOTIATION, is the “kitchen table” approach. A couple writes up their own agreement. They then take the agreement to a lawyer/mediator to be drafted in a legal format which will be acceptable to the court. Often the couple does not use an attorney for negotiation, and the couple is able to divorce very little cost. Unfortunately, unless your divorce is simple (no children, no alimony, little property) critical errors can occur which will affect your future. Once marital settlement agreement, there is no chance to reconsider. For example, spouse A signed a divorce agreement and a deed which allowed spouse B to remain in the marital home as the sole owner. Unfortunately, spouse A’s name was still on the 30-year mortgage, with 25 more years until it was paid. In this situation spouse A was unable to purchase a new home due to a commitment on the marital mortgage but no ownership of the home. legal owner of the marital home. Though money was saved on the divorce, the consequences of this decision were permanent and long-lasting - - a very costly error. The DIRECT NEGOATION process is good for couples who have been married a very short time, have little property, and no children together. If your case is more complex and you are considering DIRECT NEGOTIATION, consider hiring a LEGAL COACH to give you guidance as before you negotiate with your spouse. For more information on legal coaching, click here.