What Does a Divorce Cost? And Who Pays?

Transitioning into a new lifestyle and household makeup can be tough, especially if you’re used to having to concentrate on just the household planning or just the income and earnings. Still, moving on from an unsustainable situation is what’s best for everyone in the long run, even if it does require a little rewiring of your expectations and lifestyle habits. Between the old household and the new one, though, is the divorce, and many people wonder exactly what it’s going to cost. Some spouses even fear high costs when the separation is largely amicable, because of bad information and lopsided media coverage.

While it’s true that an adversarial situation can lead to high costs, working with the right attorney and being up front about there being little agreement or room for negotiation can help. Attorneys generally work on an hourly basis, billing when they are spending time actively preparing for or attending meetings and hearings about the case. When they think there’s room for negotiation, they spend time on it. In situations where one side is arguing in bad faith, this can run up the cost for the party attempting to be reasonable. If you are worried about that, divorce attorneys who emphasize protecting your rights in their primary strategy are the key.

Attorneys like Cordell & Cordell are positioned to move from negotiation to litigation quickly, and when they know it’s likely to go there, they also stop negotiating at the point where it becomes obvious that it’s a tactic designed to take up time and run up costs. This company focuses on men’s litigation and serves those clients especially well, but every major player in this field has its own niche. The key is finding the legal help that reflects your situation and the path you expect the divorce to take.

Are There Alternatives To Litigation?

If you’re really open to negotiation and looking to make this a quick process, you can go for mediation. This requires both sides to want to work toward an efficient resolution, though. If one side does not participate or actively obfuscates, the mediation can be turned back over to litigation. The other thing to understand is that mediation results are binding, so if one party is likely to insist on outcomes the other party finds unsuitable, the process will break down.

With that in mind, the mediation process can be significantly less expensive for both parties in the divorce, even if they also retain independent counsel in addition to the mediator. It can also make things go much more swiftly because you typically won’t be waiting for a long time for a spot on a family court docket. The key is knowing whether you truly are going to be at a meeting of minds quickly. Often, this is very difficult to determine going in, which is why mediators can be seen as risky when it comes to cost-containment.

Okay, But Who Pays?

The answer to this depends on the jurisdiction. While the state and county or municipality can have any manner of method for deciding who pays in a divorce, more and more the settled law and tradition are that each party pays their own way unless there is another outcome negotiated. Of course, if local law overrides this, then it overrides, and that can be difficult to deal with. For more information about how that will work in your specific case, you need to talk to a divorce lawyer from an organization like Cordell & Cordell company.

When it comes right down to it, either party in the divorce could ask the other to pick up costs, and in some cases that is a chip worth bargaining with. In a lot of cases, though, it’s easier to stick to your guns about it if you’re lucky enough to be in a jurisdiction where you are assumed to be paying your own way.

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