If you’re thinking about getting a divorce in Mesa, you may have numerous questions about the process. One of the most pressing of those questions might be in regards to cost; indeed, many individuals are hesitant to file for divorce because of how expensive the process can be. At the law office of Edwards & Petersen, our Mesa divorce attorney can answer your questions about the costs of a divorce, and help you to explore ways to mitigate costs. Here’s a brief overview of what you should know–
Common Costs in a Divorce
One of the most important things to keep in mind about getting a divorce is that the costs of a divorce can vary significantly on a case-by-case basis. For example, a DIY divorce (where you don’t hire a lawyer) can be cheaper but may cost you more long-term if you lose out on property, assets, or alimony that you could have received had you had legal counsel. A divorce will also be significantly more expensive if the divorce requires litigation; mediation is almost always a cheaper option. That being said, some of the most common costs in a divorce include:
- Filing fees. Just filing for a divorce and serving your spouse the divorce petition and summons can be pricey. The Clerk of the Superior Court’s Office for Maricopa County reports that the filing fee for a petition of dissolution of marriage, with or without children, is $349. If you need to file any other motions throughout the process, you can expect to pay more for this, too.
- Mediation and litigation costs. Whether or not you and your spouse are able to agree on issues in your divorce will have a significant effect on your overall divorce costs. Couples who are in agreement from the get-go can avoid the high costs of divorce negotiations. While litigation is typically the most expensive option, you will also need to pay for a professional mediator should one be required. A divorce mediator may charge anywhere from $100 – $1,000 per hour.
- Lawyers’ fees. It is within your best interests to hire a lawyer, but there’s no doubt that lawyers’ fees often comprise the bulk of costs associated with ending a marriage. Most divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee, and the average hourly fee, according to an article in USA Today, is $250 an hour. The longer your divorce takes to resolve and the more counsel you require from your attorney, the higher your legal fees will be.
It’s Smart to Meet with a Lawyer for Answers Specific to You
The costs of divorce vary greatly on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions about how much your divorce will cost and whether or not hiring a lawyer is worth it, you should request a consultation from a Mesa divorce lawyer near you. Your attorney will explain how they charge, what costs you should expect, and the steps you can take to cut costs wherever possible.