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One of the factors that you have to consider when filing for divorce is how much it will cost. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine how much your divorce will cost unless the case is actually resolved. No matter how much you ultimately spend, your goal should be to get a fair settlement in a timely manner and in way that may preserve relationships going forward.
Each Jurisdiction Will Have Filing Fees
In addition to paying for an attorney, the jurisdiction where you file for divorce may have additional fees. These fees generally need to be paid at the time of filing or shortly thereafter. If they are not paid in a timely manner, your case could be postponed or thrown out completely. It may be possible to have those fees waived or paid in installments if you can’t afford them. Overall, you can expect to pay as little as $100 or as much as $500 depending on the volume of paperwork required to file for the divorce.
Can the Divorce Be Finalized in a Straightforward Manner?
If you have a prenuptial agreement, it may be possible to settle the case in a matter of days per the language in that agreement. Even if there is no formal agreement, going through mediation or through a collaborative divorce can limit costs. This is because each side is motivated to settle, which means a resolution could be at hand within a few weeks or a couple of months. In some cases, an attorney may offer a flat rate for a mediation or collaborative divorce settlement.
How Focused Are You On Getting Closure?
It is easy for your emotions to take over when you are going through the divorce process, which may cause your case to drag out longer than it needs to. Remember, your lawyer may charge by the hour. Billable hours may accumulate each time you send an email or call your attorney on the phone. Therefore, if you are concerned with keeping costs down, only call or email if you absolutely need to. If you need someone to talk to, look for a licensed therapist or confide in your family or friends until the divorce is finalized.
Do You Need Outside Help to Settle the Case?
Cases that need the assistance of forensic experts or other outside professionals will cost more than those that can be settled without them. Your attorney may include the cost of outside assistance in the fee that he or she sets. Alternatively, the expert may set his or her own rate that you are responsible for paying or coordinating with your former spouse to ultimately pay. Generally, a forensic accountant or other experts are only needed in high asset cases.
A divorce can be costly if not handled in a frugal and expeditious manner. Between filing and legal fees, you could easily spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to formally dissolve your marriage. Therefore, it is in your best interest to collect all necessary documents before you file to ensure that you don’t spend more on legal fees and other costs that you can afford.
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