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Dear Attorneys,

I haven’t been able to reach an agreement in my divorce. My attorney said that if we don’t resolve it by the end of this month, I have to pay a $20,000 trial retainer! How is that fair? Why do I have to spend all of that money?!


Trial Tentative

Dear Trial,

I’m sorry that you haven’t been able to reach an agreement in your divorce proceeding. Generally, in family law cases, when you sign your initial retainer agreement, it is for the pre-trial stage only.  Therefore, if you do not ultimately reach an agreement and you have to go to a trial, you will be required to sign a new trial retainer. There are only two ways to resolve your divorce-reach an agreement, or go to a trial. Unfortunately, trial is the more expensive option. A $20,000 trial retainer is pretty common, and it could certainly be more, or less. Your attorney needs to factor in how much trial time will be scheduled, how much preparation is needed, if there is outstanding discovery to procure, whether depositions will be done and even if expert witnesses need to be retained.  Trials are a lot of work, and that’s why the trial retainer is usually significantly higher than the pre-trial retainer.

Wolf & Shore Law Group is here to make your divorce matter easier, not harder.  We have tried may divorce cases, with favorable outcomes for our clients.  Ever argue with a woman? Let Wolf & Shore Law Group go to work for you. Call us at 203.745.3151 or email us at

Very Truly Yours,

Wolf & Shore Law Group

*The situations represented in our Dear Attorneys column are entirely fictional and any resemblance to a specific case is unintentional. We cannot, and will not, offer legal advice to anyone who is not a client. However, if you do have questions or concerns, you should contact an attorney at your convenience.

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