It’s almost impossible to determine how much a divorce will cost before it begins. There are just too many factors to calculate.
You should, however, plan for the divorce to be expensive. You will be dealing with a variety of different costs and fees.
The first fee you’ll encounter is the filing fee. It will cost you $400 as of this writing to file your divorce petition in court in Minnesota.
If you need to file any motions each motion filing fee will cost you $100. If you try to file anything by fax you could be hit with additional fees of $25 to $50, each and every time.
The filing spouse may need to pay to have the divorce papers served. This is usually $50 or more.
If you are low income you can sometimes apply to have many of these fees waived. That doesn’t make your divorce free, but it will alleviate some of the costs.
You may have to pay for a custody evaluation. Expect to pay $5,000.00 or more.
You also will need to understand that no attorney can predict how many hours it will take to complete your divorce. There will be an hourly fee and an attorney will certainly share that with you, but there’s no way to know where it will all end. Much depends on how much disagreement there is between you and your spouse.
There are certainly ways to mitigate the cost of a divorce. You can decide what’s really worth fighting over so that you reduce the amount of time the family law attorneys spend on it.
You can also choose to settle out of court, which is could be quicker and less expensive. If necessary, you can retain the services of a mediator, which also reduces the amount of time that attorneys spend on the case.
While divorce represents an emotional and financial hit no matter what you do, the consequences of not doing it right are even worse. Don’t try to use a DIY divorce process in the hopes of saving money. You could end up jeopardizing your future by losing more assets than you should, taking on more debts than you should, or paying more in child support or spousal support than you should.
At Barna, Guzy & Steffen we have decades of experience in Family Law. While we can’t guarantee a fast, inexpensive divorce, we can tell you that we are efficient and capable attorneys. Give us a call today to talk more about your unique situation.