How Much Does A Divorce Typically Cost?
In a divorce case, the biggest expense that you have to take into account is the attorney fee. A lot of law firms claim that they charge their clients a certain amount per hour. However, in such scenarios, it is difficult for the attorney to predict the total cost of a case because one can never tell beforehand how much time each case will take to complete. Long marriages that involve kids often take quite a while to resolve. Similarly, if the divorce involves a high income business owner, the divorce can become complicated.
Other family law attorneys and law firms charge specific fees for certain services. In almost all these cases, the attorney or law firm will give you that fee structure before the case starts in order to give you an estimate of the cost and attorney fees involved. The attorney or law firm will also give their clients a detailed explanation of how their legal fees works in one the consultation sessions.
Some of the services required in a typical divorce case include:
- obtaining information about your assets, liabilities, income and expenses from you and your spouse
- making recommendations and advising on matters concerning property division and support
- negotiating a settlement with your spouse’s attorney
- preparing and reviewing a property settlement or a child support agreement
- preparing and filing of pleadings
- reviewing the pleadings filed by your spouse
- preparing an acceptance of services for your spouse
- arranging for the sheriff to serve your spouse with a copy of the complaint
- preparing or reviewing of court orders
- attending one or more court hearings
All these services are charged by lawyers. Then if a trial is necessary, the court may order one spouse to pay the attorney fees for the other spouse in alimony, child support, and child custody matters. However, the amount awarded by the court does not pay the full amount of attorney fees.
Then there may be additional costs involved such as the court costs. In totally uncontested cases, the court cost is approximately $100. If depositions and psychological investigations are involved, additional fee may be involved in order to compensate the experts involved in the case. Usually, these expenses can cost several thousand dollars.
In order to keep the total cost of the divorce low, you can follow certain steps which are outlined below:
Know what you are agreeing to – If you do not understand the financial consequences of the settlement beforehand, chances are you’ll get in trouble later on.
Act fast – If the case takes a long time to complete, you’ll end up paying more in attorney fees. So whatever you have to do, decide and act fast
Play nice – In order to make the entire process go smooth without any trouble, it is advised to play nice with your soon to be ex-spouse. The more fights you take up, the complicated and longer it will become, and the more expensive.
Sign a pre-nup – Signing a pre-nup is always advised as it is one of the best ways to keep costs down when it comes to divorce. It is a sensible thing to do at the right time.
Contact a divorce attorney or consult one for a free initial consultation in order to understand the divorce process.
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