Daniele Johnson & Associates

Divorce Costs Greater Than Award of Fees Due to Financial Circumstances


divorce costsIf you’ve decided to get a divorce, you may be wondering how much it costs. The exact cost varies based on your situation and the Atlanta divorce lawyer you hire. Here’s an overview of what to expect.

Fees for an Atlanta Divorce Lawyer

When you hire an Atlanta divorce lawyer, their fees can vary a lot. They charge different fees based on their experience¬†and pricing model. The complexity of the case also affects your final cost. Many attorneys also charge extra for costs such as copying, travel expenses, postage, and parking. As you talk with different attorneys, make sure that you understand all the costs involved so that you’re comparing apples with apples.

Filing Fee

To file for divorce, you have to pay a filing fee to the Clerk of the Superior Court in your county. Again this fee varies based on the county where you’re filing, but as of 2018, the fee ranges from about $200 to $21. Once you file, you also have to pay to have the papers served to your ex-spouse. If the sheriff serves your papers, the cost is usually around $50, but if you have to publish notification in a legal publication or if your ex-spouse is being evasive, the cost may increase to a few hundred dollars.

Court Costs

If the case goes to deposition or trial, you face additional fees. In particular, you may have to pay an hourly fee for the court reporter plus a fee per page for the reporter’s records. There may also be costs related to subpoenaing witnesses or hiring expert witnesses. These fees vary based on the complexity of your divorce. If neither you nor your spouse contests the divorce, these fees are likely to be minimal.

On the other hand, if there is a long drawn out battle over asset allocation and child custody arrangements, that drives these costs up. Additionally, if you hire a private investigator to find hidden assets that also increase these costs. The total costs can range between a few hundred and several thousand.

Parenting Seminar

Couples with children may have to attend a seminar on how divorce affects children. Often called a Families in Transition seminar, these seminars usually charge a nominal fee in the range of $30 to $50 per participant.

Mediation

Taking care of the case in mediation tends to cost less than going to trial, but there are still costs involved. Mediators charge between $200 and $400 per hour, and typically, the process takes four to six hours. Both parties split these costs. Your Atlanta divorce lawyer can tell you which costs to expect in your situation.

Award of Attorney Fees

In some cases, your ex-spouse may be required to pay for your attorney fees. This may happen in cases where one party is acting in bad faith or drawing out the litigation of the case. In some cases, you may be awarded attorney fees if your ex-spouse has a significantly higher income than you. If you have separate proceedings for spousal maintenance, paternity, or child custody, you may also get an award of your attorney fees for those cases.

To learn more, contact us today. At Daniele Johnson and Associates, we are an Atlanta divorce lawyer and family attorney who believes in putting excellence to work for you.

Daniele C. Johnson Esq.

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