How Much Does Divorce Cost in Arizona?
Marriage and the dissolution of marriage are expensive legal formalities. For anyo
ne considering filing for divorce, the question, “How much is a divorce going to cost me?” is very common. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t an easy one to give. Saying, “It depends,” probably isn’t very satisfying to someone concerned about their finances. That’s the truth, though. On the high end of things, you could be paying between $30,000 and $100,000 for your divorce, all told. On the lower end, a divorce may cost around $3,000. There are so many factors to consider that offering a fair estimate about your unique situation is challenging without speaking with a divorce lawyer one-on-one.
There are unavoidable fees like case initiation fees (paid at the beginning of the divorce proceedings), document filing fees (filed with the court), and the Respondent’s fee (due when the dissolution of marriage is finally filed if you have a full agreement). Additional costs include the division of property, the division of debt, and potentially monthly child support and spousal maintenance. And there are your lawyer’s legal fees, which vary from law firm to law firm and case to case. Depending on the circumstances you could also be responsible for paying your spouse’s legal fees as well as your own.
There are ways to save money on a divorce, though. And there even exists the possibility that your spouse may be court-ordered to pay for the cost of your divorce.
What Methods Could Make a Divorce Cheaper?
The more combative your divorce is, the more it is going to cost. The reason is simple: contested divorces are more drawn-out, resulting in needing to retain legal counsel for longer than planned and increasing your legal fees.
If possible, it would be better to try to remain peaceful and cooperative when working through the divorce process, both to reduce stress and costs. A collaborative divorce, uncontested divorce, or divorce mediation may help save money and keep things more amicable as you near the end of your marital union.
The average cost of a contested divorce is approximately $15,000. An uncontested divorce is three times cheaper at around $5,000. And hiring a divorce mediator can cost about $7,500. But these numbers vary on the complexities of your divorce and the quality of the legal team you are hiring.
The truth remains, though; the more cooperative you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can be during divorce proceedings, the more money you’ll both save. And when the divorce is done, you’ll be allowed to move forward with your lives and potentially pursue love with someone new.
What Legal Services Are Included in Lawyer Fees?
In most divorces, each spouse is usually responsible for their attorney’s legal fees and the services the attorney provides.
A divorce attorney and their legal staff provide services or help you find qualified experts to assist in obtaining the following:
- Business appraisals, if the divorcing couple owned a family business.
- Drafting and filing the necessary documents with the court.
- Establishing child custody and visitation arrangements.
- Forensic accounting.
- Gathering evidence that supports your claims.
- Mediation, if requested.
- Negotiating settlement agreements.
- Organizing child support and spousal maintenance.
- Preparing for follow-up conferences and hearings.
- Representing you in all necessary family law court hearings, including divorce litigation, if necessary.
- Researching laws, statutes, and court rulings applicable to your unique divorce case.
- Reviewing the marital assets and trying to find the outcome that lets you recover what you want in the division of assets.
Can Your Spouse Be Ordered to Pay Your Attorney’s Legal Fees?
Usually, an individual is responsible for paying their lawyer’s fees. However, from time to time, the court may order one party to pay for the other’s legal fees. The decision to do this is based on the financial resources of both spouses and how reasonable either party was during divorce proceedings.
There can be no guarantee that the family law judge will award legal fees to one party. But if the financial disparity is extreme in your courtroom case, hope exists. For better chances of getting your ex-marital partner to pay your legal fees, it’s strongly recommended that you work with a legal professional. An experienced divorce lawyer can speak for you during emotionally draining negotiations, helping to maintain a reasonable courtroom demeanor. And the lawyer can help you make the case that you deserve to be awarded legal fees from your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Schedule a Case Evaluation with Experienced Divorce Attorneys
Divorce can be very costly, especially if litigation is required in a contested and combative divorce proceeding. The most surefire ways to limit costs is to keep things civil and reasonable in divorce negotiations. While spouses are usually responsible for paying for their side of the legal matter in divorce proceedings, there exists the chance that the other spouse may be ordered by the court to pay the legal fees for the other party. This is typically awarded when there is a significant disparity between the two parties’ financial situations – for example, the wife may be unemployed while the husband made six figures – but there can be no guarantee that your case will go that way or when one spouse takes an unreasonable position that caused the other to spend more on attorney fees than they should have had to do.
To make your divorce go more smoothly – and for a better chance of seeing legal fees fall to the other party – work with the compassionate legal team of the Arizona Family Law Attorneys law firm. Our firm prides itself on providing our clients with compassionate legal representation. We understand that divorce can be challenging both emotionally and financially. It is our responsibility to make things easier for you on both fronts. Please call (480) 448-0608 to schedule a consultation with our firm.