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Legal Fees in Divorce Cases

The fear of unaffordable legal fees often puts one spouse at a disadvantage from the start in a divorce. Attorneys can be very costly, but there are ways to minimize the expense and trying to avoid legal counsel can cost more in the long run.

Here are some things to think about regarding legal fees:

  • A simple, uncontested divorce is not expensive.
  • In some cases, if you lose, you will be ordered to pay your spouses legal fees – forgoing legal counsel can cost more than it saves.
  • The more you and your spouse can work out together, the less you will both face in legal fees.
  • Mediators are less expensive than attorneys and can help you come to an agreement which you will then have your attorney review. This is much less expensive than having attorneys battle it out for you.
  • It is tempting to pour your heart out to anyone who will listen, but you should not use your attorney as a marriage counselor or therapist.
  • Gathering paperwork and financial information is time consuming and something that you can do for yourself.
  • Don’t try to punish your spouse in court. It will only cost you more in legal fees, and the courts frown on it, so it will ultimately hurt your case.
  • If you are worried about fees, let your attorney know that you want to keep costs to a minimum. Ask your attorney what tasks you can do to help.
  • In some states, if you cannot afford an attorney and your spouse has a greater income, the court will order your spouse to pay your legal fees, if requested.


At some point during your divorce you will need to seek legal advice. It is best to do this as early as possible to prevent a more complicated and expensive problem later in the proceedings. In a simple case, legal fees will be minimal. In a complicated divorce you may not have to pay the fees at all, that may fall on your spouse, or the results of the divorce could be favorable enough to offset the cost.

Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so you will know what kind of fees you are facing before you even get started. Always be honest and forthcoming with information in these meetings, so that your attorney can tell you realistically what to expect.

If you are considering divorce or have been served divorce papers, contact an experienced divorce lawyer today.

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Disclaimer: Information contained throughout The Divorce Lawyer Directory is intended to generally inform you about divorce law and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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