Divorce Lawyers Cost Money

When money is tight, a person seeking a divorce should consider the total cost of the action.

Every divorce requires the filing of a Complaint (or Petition) for Divorce, which, depending upon the county and jurisdiction, costs between $150 to more than $200. Normally, a process service or constable serves the papers on the respondent (or defendant), and the fees for this may go as high as $75.

Indigent persons may appeal to the court to a waiver from paying filing fees. The terms and conditions vary from county to county and jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Lawyers often ask for a retainer, against which they bill for their services on an hourly basis. Depending upon the county, divorce lawyers charge between $100 and $500 an hour. Some lawyers advertise flat fee divorces, but anyone using this should understand what the flat fee covers.

Divorces become increasing complicated when additional considerations are part of the case. The simplest actions are those where there are no minor children, no property, no significant assets and no disagreements. Simple cases where there are no significant disagreements generally require only a few hours of a lawyer's time; complicated cases - those where there are minor children (with disagreement about custody and visitation), a house to dispose of, arguments about alimony and child support - can consume many, many billable attorney hours.



Suggested Reading
The Property Division Handbook The Property Division Handbook
This book will explain in detail the property distribution aspect of divorce and separation. It will focus on the rights each spouse has under certain laws, situations, and circumstances, and how the division of the property will be decided by the court or through negotiation.

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SPOUSES CAN DO IT -- The easiest and least expensive way for a couple to divide and distribute the marital estate is for the spouses to do it themselves. Courts approve any settlement that is fair and reasonable. When courts divide property, normally the judge grants each spouse a percentage of the total value.

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