Divorce Lawyer Fees: There’s no real mystery surrounding why those who are recently divorced are often so miserable. Men especially show exponentially higher rates of depression once a divorce is finalized. With having to pay lawyer fees and often having to lose your kids, the house, money for alimony, etc., getting divorced can be economically stressful, not to even mention how emotionally stressful it can get. This information is widely known now, and so when people go to seek a divorce, they usually cringe when they consider what their lawyer fees may be. No one wants to go spend thousands of dollars just to lose everything. Though the rub here: If you don’t invest in your own lawyer, your spouse will, and things will be worse.
Divorce lawyers do charge a fee, but reputable lawyers aren’t out to fleece people of their money. Family lawyers understand how hard things can be, and so they try to charge a fair market rate. Lawyers like you will find with MM Law, for instance, take great pride in their ethics and their fair rates. But just how much does a divorce lawyer actually cost?
The Average Cost
As of 2021, the average cost of a divorce lawyer is around $200 per hour. Yes, that definitely seems like a lot, especially when you consider how long divorces drag on and on, but you’re not actually paying your lawyer to sit around or while you’re sleeping. You’re paying your lawyer to do casework and to have proffer sessions with the spouse, and to be in court during the case. You don’t have to pay around the clock for this, so it doesn’t add up to as much as you may be thinking.
However, these are just averages. As you might imagine, there are quite a few different things that could cause divorce lawyers to change their rates. Here are just a few of the different variables that might cause these rates to adjust one way or the other.
Things That May Affect Your Bottom Line
Many Assets Available
People with a lot of assets fight a lot harder to keep them, and their spouses fight a lot harder to get their slice of the pie, to which they feel they are entitled. So, it stands to reason that wealthier people end up paying a lot more for their lawyers. It’s not that they have lawyers who are that much better and command such a high rate. It’s more to do with the fact that their lawyers are working a lot harder and longer to try to keep or take assets.
How Messy the Divorce Gets
Bickering and screaming and one side (or both sides) refusing to settle just drags the proceedings on and on. Of course, as mentioned above, if you’re paying an hourly rate, this equates to many more hours your lawyer has to spend representing you in the divorce. This is obviously going to reflect on the total. If it gets too messy, you could end up spending a small fortune.
Child Custody, Alimony, Living Standards, etc.
A nasty custody battle is something that every family lawyer is familiar with. They’re so familiar with how tough these things can get, in fact, that they might charge a higher hourly rate if you’re a spouse who demands full custody of the children, and you will not accept any other way. The lawyer knows how difficult this is, and what a mess is going to be made, and so you might have to pay more to get more.
Your Choice of a Lawyer
The lawyer you choose is going to play a big determining role in how much you will have to pay, both hourly and as a grand total. Better lawyers charge more, as they can command that rate for their services, but shoddy lawyers who present themselves as capable charge a ton. This is why it’s important to check out a lawyer’s website and to do some research to ensure they’re the right pick for you. It will cost you, to be sure, but it is a fair rate for what you’re receiving.
Make sure you go with a quality lawyer if you want quality results. Just go with the flow and be willing to be amicable, and your tab won’t be that high in the end.