Many family lawyers offer free consultations or charge clients a reduced fee for their initial consultations. If you are looking to find out how much your divorce will cost, the answer you will usually get is “it depends.” This is not a dodge — there are many factors that can impact the cost of a divorce, not the least of which is if your case is agreed or if it involves minor children.
Try to Reach Agreements with the Other Party Out of Court
Without a doubt, the biggest driver of costs in divorces are disagreements between the parties that require judicial resolution. This means that the best way to keep costs down in a divorce is to work out with your spouse as many of the issues as possible without the need to set a hearing on the issue. Simply put, amicable divorces are far less expensive than contentious ones. If there are issues you cannot agree on, talk to your attorney about the possibility of mediation, which is usually an effective way to resolve issues in a divorce.
Be Organized and Forthcoming with Your Attorney
As with all types of legal cases, clients that are organized and share the facts of their situation in a concise, yet thorough manner will be able to accomplish things more efficiently in their divorce. Your attorney needs to be fully informed before filing papers in court or preparing for a contested hearing. It is critical that those going through a divorce let their attorneys know all relevant information in order to make their attorney’s job easier, and thus cheaper for you.
Certain Costs are Unavoidable
It is important to understand, however, that no matter how amicable and diligent the parties are, certain costs are unavoidable in a divorce. There are filing fees, service of process fees, and other out of pocket costs associated with obtaining the necessary records and filing the necessary paperwork. It takes time to prepare well-drafted written agreements and orders when it comes to dividing property and determining custody of children no matter how amicable the divorce is. Additionally, certain courts or opposing counsel might make it necessary to spend more time on your case, therefore increasing the cost.