Cost of a Divorce
The divorce process can be intimidating, both from a legal and emotional standpoint. The financial uncertainty that many divorcing spouses face can often be overwhelming. Not surprisingly, the fear of costly divorce proceedings is high on the list of concerns for many people going through a divorce.
It seems that everyone knows somebody who has lived through a divorce horror story, in which they spent tens of thousands of dollars litigating over some trivial matter. Most people have also probably seen advertisements for a “$599 divorce” on billboards or websites. Both of these examples represent the extremes. Neither represents the typical experience of most people going through the divorce process. On the one hand, an attorney willing to charge a lot of money to fight over petty things is probably not acting in the client’s best interests. Similarly, an attorney providing extremely low-cost representation may very well be cutting corners to the client’s detriment. The fees charged by the attorneys at Kollias & Giese, P.C. are reasonable and customary for domestic relations attorneys with similar levels of experience and skill.
No two cases are alike, and the ultimate cost of obtaining a divorce will depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- The complexity of the issues involved in your case
- Whether you, your spouse, and the attorneys on the case are willing to be reasonable with one another
- The hourly rate charged by the attorneys
- Whether or not expert testimony will be required
In budgeting for your divorce, you should consider the above factors. You should also be aware of the ways in which you can assist your attorney in keeping fees down. For example, the simple act of responding to correspondence and complying with requests for financial disclosures and documents in a timely manner can eliminate unnecessary court dates, continuances, and motions. Additionally, taking the time to consider the financial implications of strategic decisions and compromise when appropriate can eliminate a great deal of time spent preparing for litigation.
Illinois law requires attorneys representing clients in domestic relations matters to issue a billing statement at least once every 90 days. Reputable firms, such as Kollias & Giese, P.C., do so on a monthly basis. Monthly billing keeps the client informed of the costs being incurred in the divorce proceedings, and to weigh them while considering one’s options for settlement or trial.
In addition to attorney and expert witness fees, there are also other costs associated with the filing of a divorce. Costs in divorce proceedings may include the initial filing fee, appearance fee for the respondent, service of the summons, subpoenas, transcripts, mediation, parenting education courses, and many more.
A good attorney will explain how the attorney’s fees and litigation costs are to be paid in the initial meeting with the client. That way, the client knows what the process entails, and can plan accordingly. In some cases, fees can be paid by your spouse or paid from marital assets.
The attorneys at Kollias & Giese, P.C. are dedicated to effectively resolving cases within the budgetary needs of our clients. Contact us to set realistic expectations for your case and to learn more about the factors that affect your costs.