How Much You'll Spend On a Lawyer Depends On Many Factors
If you are contemplating divorce, one of the many questions you likely have is, just how much does a divorce cost in Colorado? Many factors determine how much a Colorado Springs divorce attorney will charge to represent you in your petition to dissolve your marriage. Your divorce lawyer will likely charge you for their services in one of two ways. The first is by assessing their hourly rate; the second is by offering flat fees. However, no matter the method in which they bill you, perhaps the most significant determinant of how much you will spend on attorneys fees is how you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are approaching your divorce.
There is a vast difference between a civil couple who agrees on major issues and a couple who fights over every aspect of their divorce, no matter how small or inconsequential. The spouses who fall into the latter category will inevitably have a higher divorce cost than the former.
If you are considering ending your marriage or find yourself currently involved in divorce proceedings, here is what you need to know about how much you are looking at in divorce costs, especially those related to fees that lawyer will set you back.
Uncontested Divorce v. Contested Everything
Not surprisingly, divorcing couples themselves have a great deal of control over the cost of their divorce. The amount of time your lawyer spends on your case and the corresponding fees they will charge you depends significantly on how well you and your spouse can get along while working through the many issues involved in ending your marriage.
If the two of you remain civil, are largely on the same page, and are able to work together in good faith to bring matters to a swift conclusion, your attorney won't have to spend much time negotiating on your behalf. Instead, they can help you go through the quicker and cheaper process of an uncontested divorce.
As the name implies, an uncontested divorce in Colorado is one in which neither spouse contests the basis of the divorce or the terms of a negotiated settlement agreement (and parenting plan if they have minor children).
Uncontested divorces tend to be easier when no minor children are involved or when the couple has limited assets and a relatively simple financial picture. There are simply fewer areas of potential disagreement or conflict in such cases, with the parties avoiding complex calculations and valuations or getting bogged down in the scheduling and mechanics of co-parenting.
However, even in an uncontested divorce, your lawyer will still need to ensure that both parties agree upon finances and all other relevant issues. They also must prepare El Paso or Teller County court filings and agreements necessary to start and conclude the divorce process.
But these costs can pale in comparison to the divorce costs you will pay if you and your spouse fight tooth and nail over every possible issue. For instance, suppose your spouse decides to play games with finances, hide assets, or engage in other underhanded tactics. In that case, your divorce attorney will have to file motions and go to court to resolve contested matters and gain access to requested documents and information. If you can't reach a negotiated resolution of these disputes, the divorce proceedings will need to go in front of an El Paso County judge. The costs for preparing for the trial and defending you at the trial can raise your divorce costs well beyond the initial estimates your attorney may give you.
Related Reading: What Is The Quickest Way To Get A Divorce In Colorado?
Complicated Finances and Other Issues
As mentioned above, another factor in how much your divorce attorney will charge to handle your case is the complexity of your individual and shared finances and assets. Valuing and dividing property between a married couple can involve complicated issues if you have significant investments, own a business, or have other assets that may not be so easy to assign to one partner or the other.
If you and your spouse share custody of minor children, your attorney may need to spend a significant amount of time working through the logistics of parenting plans that address educational and health decisions, child support, in addition to any religious or special needs concerns.
More To Read: Top Questions to Ask a Family Attorney
Your Spouse May Have To Pay Some of Your Attorney's Fees
Even in cases where both partners work outside the home, divorcing spouses are often not on equal financial footing. One party may have access to and control significantly more money than the other party. This can leave the less financially secure spouse at a significant disadvantage, especially if they have no resources to pay for a lawyer.
Fortunately, Colorado law recognizes the unfairness of these circumstances, and El Paso County judges have the discretion to put the parties on equal footing. If you lack the means to pay legal fees, your attorney can ask the court to order your spouse to pay a set amount of money to cover some or all of your attorney's fees and expenses.
If You Have Questions About Your Divorce Costs, Call A Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney Today
If you are considering filing for divorce, you have a lot of weighty decisions ahead of you. You need a compassionate divorce attorney who understands divorce's emotional and financial impacts and will fight for you and your future. Contact Perkins Law today for your free initial consultation and case evaluation.