If you are considering divorce you may be wondering if you can afford to get divorced, as well as if you can afford to be divorced. The divorce process can be expensive, but there are ways to keep costs down.
There are two main sources of expense in a divorce proceeding - court fees and attorney fees. Court fees are fixed in each state and are the same for everyone. Attorney fees vary. Older, prestigious firms, those with many awards of recognition and several generations of experience tend to command and receive higher fees. A small firm or single practitioner might have fees comparable to a larger firm, but also might provide more personal attention.
The cost of your divorce will depend on factors such as whether it is:
- Contested or uncontested - If one of you does not want to get divorced, the process can require more negotiation, and therefore more time.
- Amicable or adversarial - The more unresolved contentious issues between you and your partner, such as custody, child support and division of assets, the longer your divorce will likely take to finalize and the higher your attorney's fees might be.
- Simple or complex - If you and your spouse own many assets together, or have a combination of shared and separate assets or a particularly complex premarital agreement, it may take your attorney more effort to sift through.
If you are on a tight budget there are ways to keep divorce costs under control. One option is to consider mediation. The financial advantage is that one attorney performs the majority of the legal work instead of two, and while you both may consult occasionally with separate attorneys during the process, the savings can be still significant.
Learn more about mediation and collaborative divorceby speaking to a lawyer from the San Diego Law Office of Steven M. Bishop today.