Like weddings, divorces can be costly. More than money, divorce can quickly cost all family members on many other levels. Parenting conflict often carries an emotional toll that can have a big impact on the whole family, especially children. Divorces that go to trial are significantly more expensive because of the additional legal fees involved.
A dispute over alimony, or spousal support, also increases the price substantially, even more so than disputes involving children. Remember that you don't always need a divorce lawyer; divorce mediation can help reduce costs if there are contested issues you need to resolve. However, deciding how to handle a divorce is significantly affected by the level of cooperation or conflict that exists between the two people who are divorcing. With a lawyer, your divorce could cost you anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how much of the lawyer's time you are billed.
Like the total cost of divorce itself, the cost of divorce mediation can vary widely, depending on the circumstances of your case and whether you use private mediation or court-sponsored mediation. If parties can find a way to communicate clearly during and after their divorce is resolved, they can be more successful in resolving disputes and reducing divorce costs for everyone involved. Every divorce is different, but the main reasons behind why a divorce can be lengthy and costly may be somewhat similar from case to case. Sara's divorce is one of the most difficult types of contested divorce in which she and her husband disagree on financial and child custody issues.
Although many couples can go through a divorce without hiring an attorney, there are some circumstances where a divorce lawyer is necessary or strongly recommended. While every divorce requires legal dissolution of marriage, those who have an uncontested divorce generally pay only a filing fee, while couples contesting issues may have to pay additional fees for motions, court reporting services, and other miscellaneous court expenses. I found Sara through a Facebook group for people looking for pro bono lawyers to handle their divorce cases. In an email, Judge Margaret Murphy, who oversees the Philadelphia divorce court, criticized the study, saying she ignored the fact that 1,587 people divorced without lawyers in the time period covered by the study, meaning that some people were clearly able to understand the process.
More and more divorcing couples are turning to mediation as a way to save money and reduce the conflict and stress of divorce. Online companies will charge to prepare divorce documents, but they can also have lawyers review them for you. The supreme court has ruled that the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to a lawyer in criminal cases, but there is no such right for civil cases, in which matters such as eviction, child custody disputes, and divorce are litigated.