Are you looking for a divorce lawyer because you just got served? Are you thinking of getting a divorce and want to hire a lawyer to represent you? So what is the cost of a divorce lawyer going to be?
If you are like most people, you are probably curious what a divorce lawyer is going to cost. You may have even picked up the phone and called a law firm to ask them how much they would charge for a divorce.
I am going to let you in on a secret! Well, not really a secret, but it is the truth. Nobody knows! That’s right, nobody knows. Why?
Because nobody has a crystal ball that will show how hard your spouse is going to fight you and what type of lawyer he/she might hire. There are other unknown variables that will impact the cost of your divorce, and those above are the main two. Here are some facts for you to ponder…
Different Types of Divorce Lawyers
Lawyering is an art, not a science! Each lawyer practices law in his or her own way, and each lawyer has his/her own beliefs and philosophies about the practice of family law. One lawyer might prefer to take most, if not all divorce cases to trial.
She might really enjoy the challenge of the courtroom battle and the significant amount of money she can make from taking your divorce to trial. Another lawyer might prefer to focus on settling your divorce outside of the courtroom, using alternatives such as collaborative divorce, mediation, or informal negotiation.
Different Retainers, Fees, and Costs
Divorce lawyers charge different retainers. Some ask for $10,000 or more in a non- refundable retainer, while others require a $3,500 refundable retainer. Many lawyers will require that you pay the full retainer amount before beginning work on your divorce.
An attorney’s hourly fee will likely range from around $200 per hour up to $750 per hour or beyond. Hourly fees will depend upon the divorce lawyer’s education, experience, the costs of running his or her law firm, the complexity of your case, and the going hourly rate for divorce lawyers in the local marketplace.
Have you walked into a lawyer’s office and seen marble flooring, antique furniture, rich mahogany bookshelves in a library with wall-to-wall legal books, leather seats, and perhaps a priceless vase’s from the Ming dynasty? Someone has to pay for it all. You get the idea.
When it comes to the cost of a divorce lawyer, do not forget about the costs that are separate and apart from the fees. Divorce lawyers have different methods of charging for costs. Some will charge you for paper clips, staples, paper, letterhead, toner, envelopes, postage, mileage, copies, fax, scans, etc., while others choose to just charge for the time involved with making copies or sending a fax.
Costs For Experts
If your lawyer is planning to take your case to trial or if there are issues in your divorce that require the services of some type of expert, there will likely be additional costs for those expert services.
For example, if you own your own business, a business valuation expert might be needed to place a reasonable value on your business. If you have an extensive collection of high-quality jewelry, you might need to hire an expert appraiser to place a reasonable value on that jewelry.
Tips For Lowering The Cost of a Divorce Lawyer
One significant way to minimize the costs of your divorce is to effectively and respectfully communicate with your spouse, to resolve as many issues as you can. The more issues you and your spouse can resolve by talking with each other, the less time your lawyer will have to spend arguing and negotiating those issues for you.
If you have minor children, focus your attention and efforts on creating a future family arrangement that supports the children, nourishes their growth, and demonstrates respect for each member of your family. It has been repeatedly observed that exposing children to on-going, high conflict between the parents, is damaging for the children.
The Bottom Line Cost of a Divorce Lawyer
I hope you can see that the cost of your divorce can be highly influenced by your actions and behavior, as well as the actions and behavior of your spouse. You are not at the mercy of your divorce lawyer, if you make a wise choice about the lawyer you hire.
You can contribute in a positive way, to keep the costs of your divorce lawyer lower. You can keep more money for your family, instead of spending your valuable, hard-earned cash fighting about every issue, and ultimately, letting a stranger, the Judge, make decisions about what is best for you, your spouse, and your family.
If you need help, give me a call at (407) 872-3161 or contact me through my firm’s contact form.