I get asked “how can I minimize the cost of my divorce” 3 or 4 times a week. I wish I could say, “Your divorce will cost X”, but for most attorneys, divorce is an hourly fee proposition. This means that you are paying your attorney by the hour and the cost of the divorce is completely dependent on how complex and contentious it is. To minimize the cost of your divorce, it is important to be aware of several aspects that can affect the cost, which are outlined below:
- Hourly Rate vs Retainer
- Level of Representation
- Contested or Uncontested Divorce
- Local Filing Fees
- Child Custody
The more you agree on with your soon to be ex-spouse, the less money your divorce will cost.
An uncontested divorce will minimize cost because you may not need to bring in your lawyer or mediator. Some couples agree on everything except one issue and then spend a lot of time and money over that one part of their divorce. We have done divorces where people have settled for less than $3,000, but we have also seen divorces that run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The latter only happens when people are completely unreasonable. In those cases, they usually have a lot of money to spend and are fighting over everything, including custody. Child custody cases tend to cost more money. Whenever you bring in outside experts, the case will cost more.
Instead of asking yourself how cost can be minimized, go to your attorney, and have a strategy session to look at all the possible outcomes of your divorce. You can than decide if you need to invest in an attorney and the extent of that investment. You need to identify areas that you can compromise on, which is a better route than just trying to minimize the cost of your divorce.
For more information about filing for divorce, how divorce works, or any other family law matters in Colorado, call us at (303) 329-3802.