Going through a divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances, having to spend an extraordinary fee for it only adds insult to injury. Unfortunately, as you may already be aware, legal matters are often expensive. There are specific costs associated with your divorce that you will are standard and you may be unable to avoid, so plan ahead and factor them in to your estimated expenses. Typical costs include:
- Filing fees. This is the fee for filing the divorce and will be paid by the spouse who files first. They are roughly $300.00.
- Service fees. These fees are the costs for serving your spouse with notice of the suit, they typically cost between $80.00 to $300.00, depending on the method of service, the number of documents being served and the number of attempts required to accomplish service.
- Retainer fee. This is the amount that your attorney will ask you to pay to retain them to represent you in the case. They retainer fee will be applied to the legal fees that the attorney charges for working on your case. Most attorneys charge at an hourly rate between $250.00 and $500.00 an hour and most require a retainer fee between $2,000.00 and $6,000.00. Though it is not always the case, it is likely that your case will cost close to or more than that original retainer fee.
- Mediation. The fees for mediation include both the amount paid directly to the mediator and legal fees paid to your attorney for their time while attending mediation. Mediator fees vary, but typically cost between $600.00 and $1,200.00 per spouse. Mediation is scheduled for an eight-hour day, though it may end early if a settlement is reached or an impasse called or may run late if additional time is needed. Estimate that you will be paying your attorney for that eight-hour day. Many attorneys will ask that you prepay their time for attending mediation.
- Discovery fees. If you choose to send discovery to your spouse, be prepared that they will likely respond by sending you similar requests. Discovery is time consuming. It takes me between an hour and three hours to draft discovery requests and between two to six hours to respond to discovery requests. Some attorneys will ask that you prepay the estimated legal fees for discovery since the process can be expensive.
- Subpoenas. If you have a temporary orders hearing or trial, it is possible that you may need to send formal requests for witnesses to appear in court or to request that a business or entity provide specific records. Each subpoena will likely cost between $100.00 and $300.00 for service.
- Trial. If you are unable to settle your case informally or at mediation, you will likely be going to trial. Trials are expensive, perhaps the most expensive part of the case. Most attorneys will ask you to pre-pay a trial retainer. Typically, trial retainers range from $3,000.00 to $10,000.00, depending on the complexity of your case.
Contact Underwood Law Office today at (940) 372 0931 for a free consultation about your case.