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How much will it cost to get a divorce?

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This is a frequently asked question for those individuals looking at going through a divorce for the first time. It is certainly a legitimate question and one that many attorneys do not particularly like to answer. I have one colleague who quips that the divorce will cost the price of a car; the only question is the car a Chevrolet or a Mercedes Benz? The average cost across the United States is about $20,000 (www.divorcestatistics.info and www.maritalstatus.com. The overall cost of getting divorced in the United States is going to vary depending on what state you live in. It will cost more to get a divorce in California, than it will in Wyoming. The general estimated costs nation-wide varies between $10,000 and $20,000, with an average of $15,000. (www.divorcestatistics.com). I find in my practice that the cost is certainly going to vary depending on the length of the marriage, whether there are children and custody is an issue, the size of the estate, and who the attorney may be on the other side of the case. You will also find when shopping for a divorce lawyer, that attorneys charge different amounts for the same service. A less experienced divorce attorney may charge an advance fee (retainer) of $500 – $1,000 , with a hourly rate of $100-$200 per hour. A seasoned attorney who has practiced more than twenty years may charge an advance fee (retainer) of $2,500 – $5,000 and the hourly rates will be in the $300-$500 per hour range. Most attorneys do not like to estimate or quote what they think the divorce is going to cost, because if they guess and are wrong, the client gets angry if the final fees exceed the initial amount quoted. I perfectly understand that; on the other hand, would you build a house without knowing at least generally, what the overall cost is going to be? Would you buy a car without knowing what it is going to cost? So while it may be difficult to predict to an exact certainty what the overall cost is going to be, an experienced divorce attorney should be able to give you a fair and honest estimate, based on the overall facts and issues of your case, what they expect the divorce to cost you from the get go. If the attorney is not willing to give you such an estimate, it’s time to look for another attorney who will.

Are you going through a divorce and are you concerned whether you can afford an attorney? Karp & Iancu, S.C. offer a free, confidential one hour meeting to discuss your case. Call one of our attorneys today.

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