How Much Is A Divorce?
By far the most common question regarding divorce is – How much does it cost? Unfortunately, this question does not have a simple answer. With any luck however, this article will help you estimate just what to expect regarding the costs of a divorce.
One of the greatest determining factors related to the cost of divorce is the level of cooperation between the parties. If the parties are able to get along, cooperate, and communicate in a reasonable manner, the time, and thus the cost, will be greatly reduced. However, if the situation is filled with conflict and ill-will, and the parties withhold information or otherwise become unreasonable, the costs will undoubtedly rise. This is not to say that a party should simple succumb to the demands of the other just to save costs. Keeping the costs of divorce manageable while obtaining a favorable settlement requires a careful balance of negotiation, tact, and cooperation. While this may seem like a daunting task, it is certainly possible with competent and experienced representation.
Other factors that play a major role in determining the cost of divorce include the length of the marriage, the presence or absence of children, and the amount of assets and debts. For example, many hours can be spend developing a sustainable parenting time and custody schedule. The amount of time can be even greater where the parties disagree over major custody issues. Similarly, parties with real property and substantial assets may experience higher costs of divorce because of the complexities involved in distributing the property in a manner that is fair.
One of the biggest determining factors is the attorney that you choose. Don't get fooled by the attorney's retainer or the hourly rate. What really counts is the attorney's philosophy. For example, some attorneys will make even the smallest molehills into the largest mountains. This is possible because divorce is an emotional process. When people are driven by emotions, logic and common sense disappear. It is only after the divorce process is over do they realize that they were screwed over. Try to find an attorney that will fight for you but will manage costs at the same time.
There are many other factors that must be considered in determining the cost of divorce. As such, you should be skeptical of offers or representation for a flat fee or very low cost. It is impossible to predict with absolute certainty what a divorce will cost. In some jurisdictions, flat fees are illegal. With that being said, a divorce can be obtained with favorable at a reasonable cost if the right attorney is chosen and the parties operate with a reasonable level of respect and fair dealing.
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