Attorney fees can be one of the greatest expenses involved in the divorce process, but divorce attorney fees aren’t straightforward. The amount of attorney fees that you incur will depend on the following factors:
Your divorce attorney will represent your best interests throughout the divorce process, and it is necessary for your attorney to become familiar with the particulars of your case. Some attorney fees may be in the form of a flat fee, which is a set cost for a certain task, while others may be in the form of hourly fees. Most attorneys charge by the hour for divorce-related issues. Billable time may include answering emails and telephone calls, drafting pleadings, sending letters, settlement negotiations, doing formal discovery, performing legal research, taking depositions, preparing for hearings and trials (sometimes multiple times), and court time. Non-attorney expenses may include court filing fees, service fees, court reporting fees, and expert witness fees.
Typically, there are more issues involved in the divorce process than the divorce itself. The absolute divorce, the process that cuts the bonds of matrimony, is in most cases the least expensive matter and usually costs a flat fee. The reason is that the absolute divorce is a relatively simple court process with well-established law which requires less time from the attorney. In contrast, there are other and more costly matters in the divorce process such as domestic violence related issues, child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution. Generally speaking, these issues involve a greater level of attorney time which equates to more overall expense. Many cases involve several different issues and some are more complex than others.
Attorney fees may be more expensive if your case is in court, rather than resolved by a contract. There are many benefits to filing an action with the Court, and sometimes it is necessary. However, if you and your spouse have no children and few assets, then you may, with the assistance of your attorney, be able to reach an agreement outside of the courtroom on how those assets are to be divided. This compromise will enable you to save on attorney fees. Even if your case has been filed with the court, you may be able to reach an agreement on some or all of the issues before a judge has to make the decision for you. Trials can be costly as your attorney must prepare for trial and be in court. Trials may last as little as a few hours to as much as several days or weeks. After the trial your attorney may have to prepare an order, which can also take a significant amount of time.
As you can see there are many factors that contribute to the amount of legal fees involved in your case. Our divorce attorneys here at Robison Smith Law are well-versed in the court process, the settlement process, and all aspects of the divorce process. After a consultation, our attorneys can advise you better about the potential cost of your specific case. Contact us today to discuss your options and learn more about what a divorce attorney cost could look like for your case.
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