One of the first questions new clients ask me is “how much will the divorce cost?” I never shy away from answering this fair question – even though it doesn’t have easy answers.
Unfortunately, you cannot completely control the cost, because you cannot control your spouse’s actions and the actions of his or her attorney. If your spouse is angry and bitter and just wants to get back at you, your expenses will increase. This is true even if you and I successfully prove that he or she is acting childishly. Attorney fees will increase for excessive or unneeded discovery (fact-finding) and you may be forced to participate in one or more pre-divorce motions. Custody and visitation battles, accountants, expert witnesses – these will all add to the cost.
The good news is that the total cost may be less expensive that you fear, and that you and me do have quite a bit of control. The fewer unnecessary things we do and the less we are “baited” by your spouse and his or her attorney, the lower will be the cost.
So What Does a Divorce Cost?
With that said, a truly uncontested and agreeable divorce can cost less than $5,000 in total attorney fees. Adding complexity – assets, support issues, custody concerns – can increase that cost by a factor of two or four or five or more. So a complex but relatively agreeable divorce may cost more or less than a medium-sized car, but it’s impossible to give you a hard number without learning more about you and your situation. Let’s not even talk about the cost of a trial, but realize that very few divorces wind up that way.
Finally, please recognize that focusing only on the cost will be bad economy. You do not want a divorce settlement and agreement riddled with so many holes, guaranteeing your return to court within a few years.
Please call or email anytime if you want to discuss anything that I’ve said. We can talk and I will try to answer the cost question for you. I promise to help you achieve your goals as efficiently and stress-free as possible.