Legal Blog

Settling Cases: Time Is Of The Essence

More often than not, it is in everyone’s best interest to settle a case.  What does that mean?  It means that the two parties reach an agreement, instead of having a Judge or a Magistrate make a decision.

Reaching an agreement can be a challenge.  It can be as “easy” as sitting across the kitchen table and deciding where the children will live, who will live in the house or will we sell it, what happens to our retirements, bank accounts, vacation property, the business we built together, and every other item that arises out of the dissolution of a marriage.  Or, a mediator and/or counsel may be involved to help get to that point.

Either way, the reaching of an agreement does many things.  It eliminates the anxiety of the unknown of a courtroom.  It enables the parties to determine the outcome.  It is more cost effective.  It can happen earlier than a decision by a Judge or a Magistrate.  And I am convinced, after 36 years of practice, that the sooner there is a decision, the better for all.  A lack of decision is a scary place for as we know, there is a reasonable fear of the unknown.  When people are afraid, they don’t make the best decisions.

You get the point of the value of an agreement.  But now, the timing.  Often, agreements are make on the courthouse steps.  That is, on the day of trial as attorneys are unloading their boxes and trial exhibits to set up for trial.  By that time, each of the parties has spent a lot of money, months have passed during which parties have acted and reacted out of fear.  Wouldn’t it have been better, and more cost effective (money and emotional) to have gotten to this place sooner rather than later?

Part of the problem is that people are in different places at different times in a divorce setting.  Emotions run the gamut from fear, denial, anger, mourning, and many variations.  The sooner you can make yourself get to the place of being able to work on an agreed upon solution, the better.




If you need help with any issue regarding child custody and access, please contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz at or 301-575-0381.




Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.



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