If your marriage is coming to an end, you are likely to ask yourself a question like “How much will the divorce cost in Colorado?” The response to this question will rely on several varying factors, such as whether you’ll need to hire a lawyer.
However, if so, how much will the lawyer charge? Considering factors such as whether your partner is collegial or combative, you have children together, one of you is requesting alimony, or how much debt and property you have to divide between the two of you, you will have to keep in mind how long your divorce will take.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Divorce?
Similar to whether to divorce or not, the average cost of divorce is a difficult question to respond to`. The cost of divorce is dependent on many factors-whether or not both of you agree on particular things, and if both of you need a divorce lawyer. Some of the factors that affect the cost of divorce include; mediation, alimony, child custody evaluation, the place where divorce papers are being filled and the local filling charges, child custody, the lawyers’ hourly rate versus a retainer charge, and if the divorce is contested or uncontested.
What is the Hourly Rate for Divorce Lawyers?
The divorce process can be messy and time-consuming, and the problems in each divorce are varying from one couple to the other. Because the result of each divorce is determined by what is at stake, the lawyers, and defendants, it is quite impossible to get an average cost. If you get a lawyer providing representation for a standard rate, you should dig deeper into them to find out the judgments on their past cases and who they represented.
Generally, family lawyer bills are approximately $150-$250 per hour or more depending on their location. Some lawyers might charge as high as $650 per hour to assist individuals through certain thorny divorces such as couples with complex assets, extensive assets, and those who own businesses.
What are the Retainer Charges for Divorce Lawyers?
When hiring a lawyer, you will always have to pay a retainer fee. A retainer fee is an upfront payment paid by the customer before the performance of any legal task. A retainer fee acts as a down payment to secure the lawyer you hire and ensures payment for when the whole process is complete. It covers the charges for upcoming hours billed. Rather than keeping your retainer and then charging you for every hour billed afterward, most lawyers will keep this retainer as a down payment and use it to the total bill upon completion of the whole process.
These retainer charges are dependent on the hourly rate of a divorce lawyer. The retainer’s size will be dependent on the problems discussed during the first consultation, such as the division of debts, spousal or alimony support, child custody, the division of property, and child support.
What are the Filing Fees of Divorce?
Divorces need filing fees which vary by state, ranging between $70 and $350. Filing fees are usually included in the initial retainer for lawyers, which covers their time from filing the divorce papers to establishing the temporary order hearing. The order hearing in straightforward cases develops a template for the final divorce agreement by laying out the framework for child and alimony support, a schedule for child custody, and how assets will be divided.
What are Service Fees and Court Charges?
Court charges vary significantly from place to place. The costs of filing a divorce petition with a local clerk can go up to $500. This phase cannot be avoided since you need to have a document to serve on your partner. Once the clerk verifies the petition, you must now serve it on your partner.
This fee is more realistic and serving the paperwork can be done for less than $100. However, if your partner doesn’t desire to be served, the charges can quickly go up.
How Can I Pay for my Divorce?
Before hiring a divorce lawyer, inquire about the total approximated cost of filing for divorce, including legal fees and filing charges. If your concern is about your capability of paying, speak to your divorce lawyer about the alternatives.
Ask your partner to pay your legal charges. If your partner has more money than you do, you can ask him/her to pay part or all your legal costs and fees. If your partner fails to agree to your request voluntarily, you can ask the judge who is hearing your divorce case to give orders to your partner to pay your legal charges.
Task-based billing. If your divorce is relatively simple, your lawyer can advise you to handle certain components of the divorce by yourself. For instance, you can negotiate a divorce agreement face-to-face with your partner without the help of a lawyer. You can then pay your divorce lawyer to analyze that agreement and highlight any potential issues. Hiring a lawyer for parts of your divorce can help minimize legal charges.
Set a budget. If you and your partner are on tight budgets, you may be incapable of move some of your legal charges to your partner. If that’s the case, you’ll need to organize with your lawyer to set a budget for your legal costs. Your lawyer should be able to create a legal approach that works within your budget.
Utilize ‘do it yourself’ resources. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you could look into a family law court to get you a local volunteer lawyer to respond to your questions and assist you in filling out forms. However, you may be limited to instruction manuals and booklets.
Flat fee billing. If your divorce is straightforward and simple, you may hire a lawyer to represent you for a flat fee. However, that lawyer will usually only charge a flat fee is you are filing for an uncontested divorce. If unforeseen issues come up, you’re likely to incur extra charges.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an approach of solving disputes to assist parties to agree without facing trial. A judge, former commissioner, or professional mediator can act as a third party which focuses on helping both parties to come on an agreement. Some courts offer mediation services for free or at sliding-scale charges to partners who are unable to afford mediation services when ordered by the court. For those who can afford, mediation usually cost an hourly rate of $100 to $300.
How Long Will it Take You to Complete a Divorce Case?
The average time a divorce case takes varies depending on how long you take to file the petition to the final court judgment. However, the average duration is one year. The scenario is usually worse for those who go to trial. In such a case, it can take up to 18 months to complete the process or even longer, especially if you had more issues to solve.
What Happens if there is a Mutual Agreement?
The more the issues are unresolved by the individual filing for divorce such as shared assets, maintenance of the property, or child custody, the higher the chances of the cost being more elevated. The more the issues are resolved by both parties, the lower the likelihood of the process becoming costly. If both of you agree on significant issues, you can file a less costly uncontested divorce, which could cost you even below $500.
Different states charge varying fees for filing for divorce; therefore, a precise cost is unpredictable. Some states will also grant the filer a waiver on the filing charges depending on their income. An uncontested divorce is less costly and straightforward since it requires neither mediators nor lawyers to help both parties to agree.
The legal team at Brighter Day Law has extensive experience with all of the complex legal issues that divorcing couples may face, and we are ready to provide you the legal counsel you need during this challenging time
Do I Need a Lawyer If I’m Going Through a Divorce?
The cost of divorce can quickly increase, and lawyer’s fees are a large part of these costs. However, the work of a qualified and knowledgeable lawyer is worth the charges. They will file the necessary paperwork, represent you in the case, and ensure you know every potential fee. They can also examine which fee structure is ideal for your case and assist you in understanding what you are being charged for.
Are Divorce Legal Fees Tax Deductible?
Generally, the IRS says you can’t deduct your legal fees for an alimony or divorce expenses. You can’t deduct the charges for personal advice, litigations, or counseling. Nevertheless, in some cases, taxpayers are allowed to deduct costs linked to the collection of alimony payments. The IRS denies any deduction for the fees of divorce’s legal action, counseling, and personal advice.
For instance, no write-off for what a husband uses to deny the demands of his wife to put aside a prenuptial asset agreement or for more alimony. There are specific examples given where legal charges incurred to tax advice or collect taxable alimony linked to a divorce are tax-deductible. However, this is as long as the bill specifies how much is related to taxes, and the amount of money is determined realistically.