Cost of a Divorce in Memphis
Determining the actual costs of your divorce before you go through it is almost impossible. There are simply too many factors that can drive up the cost of your divorce that you will not be able to predict at the beginning of the process. While everyone agrees that divorce is usually more expensive than they expect, the specific cost for each divorce is so variable that no one can predict exact numbers at the start.
It can be helpful to look at some average costs of divorce to get a bird’s eye view of what others are paying, although your individual experience will vary. There are also proven ways to help keep costs down in a divorce, which are worth keeping in mind if you want to try to save some money.
At Hamilton Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ interests and their bank accounts, so you can expect customized legal services tailored to your unique circumstances. We are here to get you through this intact, and as cost-effectively as possible.
Average Costs Of Divorce
People pay divorce attorneys anywhere from $150 an hour to $650 an hour and above. The majority of people pay around $250 an hour for a divorce attorney to get full representation. Paying more for an attorney does not necessarily mean you will get a better experience, but there is generally a threshold for when you begin to get the kind of representation you expect from a competent lawyer.
Total Cost For Divorce
The average cost for a divorce totals between $4,000 and $15,000 when you include both attorney fees and other fees related to divorce. Of course, it is possible to pay significantly less – or significantly more – depending on the circumstances of your divorce.
How Long Does It Take
Most divorces take over 10 months to fully resolve, although some are finished in as little as 4 months, while others take several years to finalize.
Factors That Make Divorce More Expensive
There are many factors that go into a divorce, each bringing a potential cost. At the most basic, you will need to file paperwork with the court. Filing fees can range from under $100 to over $400. Most divorcing couples incur additional costs beyond filing fees, including:
In almost every divorce you are better off with a lawyer than without one. There are just too many risks involved when you do not have legal counsel, and the other spouse is more than likely going to hire an attorney – which makes having your own a necessity. Getting raked over the coals by your spouse’s attorney is much more expensive in the long-term than paying for a competent lawyer right now.
Once you know that you need an attorney, you have to find one that fits your needs and your budget. There are plenty of inexpensive attorneys out there. Unfortunately, you very often get what you pay for when it comes to legal representation. You have to find the balance of cost and skill to ensure you are protected throughout the divorce.
Disagreements In The Divorce
There are a number of issues that you and your spouse must reach an agreement on before the court will grant you a divorce. You can reach the agreements on your own, or the court will come up with a solution for you. Meeting in the middle with your spouse is much less expensive than fighting it out in court. The longer you argue about issues like property division, child custody, child support, spousal support and other major issues, the more attorney fees you rack up and the higher your costs are.
Letting Emotions Get The Better Of You
Divorce is an emotional process even when things go smoothly. Unfortunately, all too often couples find themselves getting caught up in disagreements and digging their heels in on specific issues in a way that brings the divorce process to a halt. When you or the other party refuses to budge on an issue, the costs of the divorce start to rise dramatically. Attorneys can spend weeks or months arguing on your behalf, racking up expenses as they go along. You may get what you want, but it will be costly.
Waiting On Court Dates
Each issue that you need to decide in court must be scheduled, which can take a considerable amount of time. You may wind up waiting weeks or even months to get a court date for each issue. You will continue to incur fees while waiting. The more issues that need to go to court, the more waiting.
Lowering The Costs Of Your Divorce
Hiring The Right Attorney
You do not want to cut costs by hiring an ultra-cheap divorce attorney, but you can be discriminating in the attorney you do hire. Look for a lawyer that has experience in divorces similar to yours and that has a proven ability to get the job done. You also want someone who genuinely cares about your situation and is committed to taking care of you.
Reach Agreements Outside Of The Court Room
It may be hard at first, but you will have a more satisfactory divorce if you and your spouse are able to decide the important issues outside of court. Letting the judge decide leaves both of you feeling unhappy, while talking things through and coming to an agreement on your own is much more likely to result in an outcome that you can both live with.
If talking through issues with your attorneys is too difficult, divorce mediation services are available that can help guide you through the decision-making process to ensure you both get to have your say. You can go over all your conclusions with your attorney to make sure they are in your best interest and still save a considerable amount of money over hashing it all out in front of a judge.
Listen To Your Attorney
As long as you hire an attorney you trust and that has a good reputation, it is in your best interests to listen to what he or she has to say. Your divorce attorney wants what is best for you. In the heat of the moment, when your spouse is saying things or demanding things that trigger passionate emotions, deferring to your attorney is the best option. Take a step back, listen to your counsel and remember that acting rationally is the single best way to avoid costly battles that serve neither you nor the other party.
Contact Us To Learn More
At Hamilton Law Firm, we have represented numerous divorce clients in Memphis and the surrounding areas. We know how hard divorce can be on clients and their families, which is why we works so hard to guide you through the process as effectively as possible. There are costs related to divorce that are inevitable. Fortunately, we can help you minimize the expense while getting you the results you want and need from your case.
Please contact our team today to discuss your circumstances and learn about your legal options. We are standing by to answer your questions and to protect your best interests.