If divorce is something on your mind one of the first questions you may have concerns the expense of the process. Divorce is not just a life decision that changes your marital status; it can have important consequences for your financial situation as well. For many people, the cost involved in getting a divorce can come as a surprise. Putting a number on the process is all but impossible given that the costs vary widely based on how cooperative the couple is and how complicated the financial and emotional picture is. The following is a breakdown of the costs associated with different types of divorces.
- Going it alone :: The cheapest form of divorce is the pro se divorce, in which you represent yourself in the case. In a pro se divorce, you are responsible for drafting and filing all the legal forms on your own. Total agreement between you and your ex is required to have this process go smoothly and even then the legal maze of forms and deadlines can exhaust many. The divorce becomes final once the judge signs the divorce documents. The costs involved in this instance are only the filing fees and the court costs.
- Mediation :: Another option is mediation. In this approach a mediator acts as the third party and helps the couple resolve issues and reach a mutually agreeable settlement. This is a completely voluntary process and the spouses have control over the outcome of the divorce. The costs associated here are the fees paid to the mediator and the filing fees. This process also requires that couples be able to work together in order to ensure they reach a fair and equitable settlement.
- Litigation :: If the divorcing couple cannot come to an agreement on how they want to settle things, then they will have to litigate the case in court. This is where it can starts getting expensive. To start with, both spouses will hire their own attorneys. In some cases where there’s economic inequality, the court may order one spouse to pay the attorney fees for the other spouse. Both spouses will have to pay fees to the lawyers that charge on a per hour basis and then cover court costs as well.
It’s critical to remember that your approach to the divorce will determine much of the costs. The more you battle over issues, the more expensive your divorce will get. For example, if you and your spouse disagree over who should take custody over the child, then the process of divorce will take much longer and will entail more work and more expenses. You should also be cognizant of other costs such as travel expenses and loss of income from missing work.
If there’s a dispute about assets then you may need to work with a financial analyst or a real estate appraiser., all of which are added expenses for you. The more the spouses refuse to cooperate, the more difficult and expensive the divorce can get. A collaborative divorce can really go a long way in saving you a major portion of your divorce expense.
If you find yourself facing the prospect of separation or divorce, you need the help of an experienced Knoxville, Tennessee family lawyer. Contact Knoxville, Tennessee’s Benjamin Barnett today.