October 21, 2020

A Guide to Divorce Litigation

It is no secret that getting married can be costly. Most individuals spend a large amount of money on their weddings. Many take out loans to cover their wedding expenses, and say that the money was well spent for a day they will remember forever. 

However, no matter how expensive the wedding, many marriages today are ending in divorce. Couples might be surprised to learn that the ending of their marriage will cost as much or more than it cost at the beginning. 

A report found that Americans who paid attorneys to manage the details of their divorces had spent $12,900 on average.

Divorce litigation is the legal process of a divorce dispute resolution in a family law court. That involves presenting issues to the family court to resolve them. Families will often prefer litigation if they cannot reach an arrangement along with other divorce options. 

How much does divorce cost? 

The average cost of a divorce can cost upwards of ten thousand dollars per individual. The price includes the cost of hiring outside professionals such as real estate appraisers, child custody evaluators, and tax advisors. It also involves court costs and lawyer’s fees. 

The duration of the divorce proceedings is mainly what determines the cost. Some divorces take months, while others can take over a year if a trial is required. 

In most states, getting a divorce without a family law attorney is being “pro se.” In California, a spouse filing on their behalf means they are a “pro per.” In rare cases, the spouses can arrive at a mutual agreement and proceed to end their marriage in an uncontested divorce. Their costs will include divorce papers, serving the documents, and filing fees. However, this is usually not a feasible option for couples.

Crop serious ethnic couple with crossed arms on couch
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

What factors affect divorce costs?

One of the things to consider is that a divorce is the ending of a legal contract. A spouse filing a divorce means that they are seeking the legal termination of marriage The standard cost of a divorce is not a simple equation. The prices vary on a large of factors such as alimony, child custody evaluation, location, hourly lawyer rates, and disputes.

How long does the process take?

California, for instance, has a six-month waiting period before a divorce may become final. However, some couples in Santa Ana who work with an experienced divorce lawyer can have their cases finalized within that time. Also, the courts do have an expedited divorce procedure referred to as summary dissolution. Only a few couples meet the rigorous eligibility prerequisites. Various factors can impact the divorce proceeding duration, including the number of contested divorce problems and whether the couple needs to go to trial. One survey reported that couples who had no disputed problems took at least eight months to obtain their final divorce decree. 

Divorce litigation is indeed time-consuming and costly, not to mention emotionally exhausting to all parties involved. Given the investment required to have a divorce finalized, couples who wish to have their divorce terminated properly should consider hiring the right family law lawyer for their professional legal expertise.