The Price of Divorce
There are different types of fees to consider when seeking a divorce. You will have take into account lawyer fees, court fees, government fees as well as any additional amounts for filing court documents.
The exact lawyer fee will vary with the services you require. Most law firms, including ours, charge their clients a certain fee per hour. It is difficult to accurately predict the cost or your fee because it is unclear precisely how much time it will take to complete your case.
A typical domestic case requires many services, including but not limited to
1) attending court conferences, obtaining information from you and your spouse concerning your assets, liabilities, income and expenses
2) making recommendations concerning property division and support
3) settlement negotiations with your spouse’s lawyer
4) the preparation or review of a property settlement and support agreement
5) the preparation and filing of pleadings (or the review of the pleadings filed by your spouse) 6)arranging for a process server to serve your spouse with a copy of the court documents
7) preparation or review of court orders and attending one or more court hearings
If a trial is necessary, the court has the authority to order one spouse to pay the other’s costs. The amount awarded by the court, however, will rarely pay the full amount of the lawyer’s fees.
Finances can be one of the messiest aspects of divorce. It is common for one spouse to be left in the dark. Avoid this by gathering up any records that have bearing on your current financial situation to ensure that you get a fair split.
In addition to lawyer’s fees, when cases get filed with the court, there is the additional expense of “court costs”. Court costs are approximately $400 if the case is totally uncontested. If there are discoveries or psychological investigations then additional fees come into play to compensate these experts. It is not unusual to spend several thousand dollars on these expenses.
Service and Filing Costs
If you represent yourself in a domestic dispute, you could spend hours waiting in line at the court to present your documents. This service is provided by lawyers and will save you plenty of time and effort. Once forms are filed in the court, they must be served on all parties and it is best to have a process server conduct the service. The fees for service are generally around $64.00.