One concern that many divorcing couples share is the cost of getting a divorce. Even when divorcing couples see mostly eye to eye, it is difficult to reach an agreement without legal representation particularly if there are children involved or there are assets to divide, which may or may not be easy decisions to make. It is crucial to work with an experienced attorney skilled in negotiation who will not only pursue the best possible outcome for your unique situation, but also work to keep costs down.
It is helpful to consult with a family law attorney who will listen to the details of your case and give you some idea of what you can expect regarding the process and their fees. Typically a divorce attorney will charge an hourly rate, which can vary depending on the experience and reputation of the firm. Paralegals and law clerks working for a firm bill at a lower hourly rate and many attorneys will utilize their services as a cost saving tool to pass along to their clients. Although some firms may offer a flat rate for a divorce, it is important to consider how experience and proven results translate into a more efficient process saving you money while achieving a favorable result.
- Fees in Addition to Attorney Fees
There are number of expenses in addition to attorney’s fees that are part of every divorce, which may include court filing fees; service, subpoena, or deposition fees; costs for mediation, guardian ad litem, or other professional services; or even business valuation and accounting services when dividing marital property. Your attorney can provide you with more information regarding what you can expect depending on the circumstances of your case – every situation is unique. Do not hesitate to ask questions when you meet with your attorney.
- Find Common Ground Where You Can
To keep the cost of your divorce to a minimum, the best approach is to find common ground with your spouse on issues such as child custody, division of assets or spousal maintenance. The single largest factor that influences the cost of a divorce is how amicable or contentious the case is so if you and your spouse are parents and are able to come to an agreement regarding custody and visitation or who will stay in the family home or keep the car, there will be less work for your attorney to do and provide a starting point for negotiations reducing costs.
- Gather Documents and Information
Discovery in a divorce often entails uncovering financial and other information pertinent to your case. If you are able to gather documents such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit card statements, pay stubs, tax returns, receipts for various expenses, and other financial documents you may be able to reduce the cost of your divorce by significantly. It is helpful to work with your attorney to see what documents you will need as part of your divorce. Doing some of the leg work on your own can save reduce your costs.
Contact Our Waukesha Divorce Team Today
When you have questions regarding the cost of divorce and the next steps in a Wisconsin divorce, contact the family law attorneys of Probst Law Offices at 414-210-3135.