If you are currently contemplating divorce, you may be feeling overwhelmed by lots of lingering thoughts, fears, and questions. There are so many factors to weigh, both practical and emotional. For many, the financial impact of a divorce is reason enough to put the possibility on the back burner. Is it going to break your piggy bank?
It is true that divorce can be a lengthy and expensive process, and that reality is important to accept and plan for ahead of time. However, as we will address below, divorce cost in Missouri should not be a barrier to pursuing a better life.
Every divorce is different. While one divorce can be highly contested, last years, and cost millions, another can be amicably wrapped up within three to six months for under $2,000. For this reason, take everything that you hear with a grain of salt, and do not let someone else’s negative experience stop you from moving forward.
There are a number of different options for divorce and some are more cost-effective than others. Of course, the information in this article is intended to be general, the best way to get an accurate estimate of how much your divorce will cost is to talk directly to an experienced divorce attorney. The Missouri Divorce Lawyers at The Johnson Law Firm offer consultations. Feel free to contact them to schedule one and get personalized feedback based on your specific circumstances.
The Cost of an Uncontested Divorce in Missouri
Uncontested divorces are undoubtedly the most cost-effective of available divorce options. In uncontested divorces, both spouses have come to an agreement on all aspects of the divorce that need to be decided. In other words, there are no contested issues that the court has to decide. This means that spouses have already come to an agreement on the distribution of debts, assets, alimony, child custody, and any other relevant issues.
In these cases, courts only need to review the agreement and approve or deny it. The vast majority of expenses relating to a divorce are attorney’s fees, so the less time you have to spend in court, the less your divorce will cost. An uncontested divorce in Missouri without any complicating legal issues may cost as little as $1,000.
The Cost of a Contested Divorce in Missouri
A contested divorce is one in which the spouses are unable to come to an agreement on any or all of the terms of the divorce. The more hotly contested these issues are, the more expensive the divorce will be. Divorce attorneys generally have a retainer amount as well as an hourly fee. However, these amounts range from attorney to attorney, so the only way to get an accurate estimate is to get an accurate sense of how complicated your case will be and of the attorney’s individual rates.
If there are shared children involved and custody will have to be determined, the divorce is likely to cost 50% more than it would otherwise. Custody and visitation issues can be difficult to litigate and may require costly expert reports or testimony, such as a custody evaluation. Settling these issues before coming to court can result in significant cost savings.
Respected St. Charles County Divorce Attorney
If you are considering filing for divorce in Missouri and you have questions, the experienced divorce attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm have answers. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you move forward in life.