If you anticipate heading down the road of divorce with your spouse, it’s important to consider your financial standpoint to ensure the efficiency of your divorce proceedings. Generally speaking, if you can’t afford a lawyer for your divorce, it can be challenging taking the next step, even if the decision will be ideal for your current situation. Lawyers are typically believed to be expensive, and this correlation is factually correct in most situations.
Nonetheless, if you are sure you are ready to move forward with your divorce, make sure that you are familiar with traditional attorney rates. In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of a divorce lawyer, as well as your alternative options.
Divorce Lawyers are Expensive
Needless to say, divorce attorneys are expensive. Most lawyers charge astronomical rates coupled with exorbitant retainer fees. Average lawyer rates are between $200/hour to $500/hour.
In addition, divorce lawyers will charge you based on the time they are working on your behalf. This means that you can be charged for almost everything your lawyer does, even if they are communicating with you and others. These fees are but aren’t limited to emails, phone calls, drafted letters, court appearances, meetings, etc.
To begin, most attorneys require an initial retainer fee of $3,000 to $10,000 per spouse. This amount depends on the complexity of your case, and it can even rely on how well you and your spouse cooperates. Still, these costs are only the beginning for most people.
Standard lawyer-driven divorce settlements can cost $15,500 to $35,000 per spouse. The costs of divorce cases that go to trial can vary, but these costs can range from $80,000 to $250,000 per couple.
These costs can drain family finances and force married couples to scramble for funds to cover their legal expenses. Though, there are cost-effective alternatives to lawyer-driven divorce.
You Can Do it Yourself
A do-it-yourself divorce is the most affordable solution to ending your marriage. It’s also a relatively straightforward procedure that only requires you to pay for the filing of your paperwork. The costs of do-it-yourself divorces usually range from $300 to $1500.
These costs vary depending of the complexity of your case, but basic filing costs are approximately $300. While this option is universally affordable, it isn’t recommended for couples that have toxic marital issues. We’ll explain why in the next section.
An Attorney May be Necessary
Expanding upon the previous section, a do-it-yourself divorce entails the filing of your divorce. This means that this alternative can only be viably achieved if both spouses are on equal terms. Most couples opt to hire a divorce attorney to assist with their settlement because of the lack of this very reason.
If you are focused on making your divorce ideal for you, it’s optimal to avoid a do-it-yourself divorce, especially if you and your spouse aren’t agreeing on a mutual settlement.
In conclusion, the high cost of a divorce attorney can be demoralizing to many couples seeking a divorce. The Divorce Center offers premium and affordable divorce settlements for couples stuck in between choosing a lawyer or handling their divorce alone.