When you’re wrapping your head around divorce, you want to know how long it’s going to take and how much it’s going to cost.
These are the two most basic questions you ask before starting almost any process. I mean, would you agree to hire someone to re-do your bathroom without knowing how long it will take and how much it will cost? And that’s just your bathroom. This is your life.
So, why is it so difficult to get an answer from attorneys?
The length and cost of your divorce depends on a few different things, which can make the question difficult for attorneys to answer. Having seen people struggle to get answers to these questions, I try my best to provide you with some answers here.
1) WHAT IS THE SHORTEST AMOUNT OF TIME YOUR DIVORCE CAN TAKE?
- 3 months from beginning to end is the average I have seen when you and your spouse agree on all of the issues (an uncontested divorce).
2) HOW LONG DO MOST DIVORCES TAKE?
Most divorces have issues that needs to be decided (contested divorce),
such as what to do with your home or how to split time with your children.
- 11 months is the average length of contested divorce. *
- 9 months when you can end up signing a settlement agreement that decides the issues (and therefore avoid trial).
- 17.6 months if you have to go to trial to have a Judge decide the issues.
3) HOW LONG CAN A “BAD DIVORCE” TAKE?
- If you fight in Court about every single issue and asset, you’ve got yourself a “bad divorce” and this can last 2 years or maybe more.
- If you have children, the fighting in Court could continue EVEN AFTER the divorce ends, until the youngest is 18 years old.
FREE LEGAL TIP: Not only does fighting suck, so does spending all of your money on lawyers.
4) HOW YOU CAN AVOID THE “BAD DIVORCE”:
Avoid hiring an attorney that calls him/herself “aggressive”,
because that attorney will be…AGGRESSIVE.
- What does this mean? It means fighting about every issue rather than trying to reach an agreement. (Hello Divorce Court. Goodbye savings).
Hire an attorney that practices ONLY Divorce and Marital/Family Law.
- Don’t hire a lawyer that practices whatever area of law that walks in the door because it’s business.
- (S)he won’t know what (s)he’s doing as well as your spouse’s lawyer that focuses on divorce day in and day out.
- This will end up slowing things down for you AND costing you more money.
Don’t “Do It Yourself”.
- Your divorce can drag on because, although you manage to do a lot of things, you don’t practice divorce law.
- My longest divorce cases are those against either an “aggressive” attorney or a spouse representing him/herself.
- You can avoid these bad scenarios if you hire a good, reasonable attorney.
5) HOW DO YOU FIND A GOOD DIVORCE LAWYER?
- Check attorney websites. If they say “aggressive” or list too many practice areas rather than focusing only on divorce, stay away.
Check attorneys’ reviews.
Pick an attorney that has positive reviews and feedback.
- (An attorney with good reviews most likely helped people without waging war and making them lose every last penny).
- Pick an attorney that has positive reviews and feedback.
- A few good sources for trustworthy reviews are: avvo.com , google +, martindalehubbel.com and lawyers.com
6) SO, HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
- Some lawyers offer FLAT FEES for UNCONTESTED DIVORCE. You can google it or check avvo.com to see which lawyers in your area do so and how much it costs.
For contested divorce, the attorney’s rate is normally hourly. Hourly
rates vary a lot depending on the region and relevant experience of the
- Quality can also vary with the rate so be careful to look for the “bargain”. Usually you get what you pay for and if it’s too good to be true, it ain’t true.
- You can check the rate in your specific area by googling it or checking avvo.com or other client-focused law sites.
CLICK ON EASE PAINS OF DIVORCE or CALL (954) 449-8719 for more info about your divorce in Broward and Miami-Dade County (Weston, Plantation, Cooper City, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and surrounding areas).
*Statistics provided by http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/ctp/cost-of-divorce.htm