Most people think of a cheap divorce as one that is quick, relatively painless and does not involve a great deal of legal work. Most often they are looking for an inexpensive attorney to do the work.
The legal work is largely dependent on the number of issues which may be involved. For example, if there are children involved then there are issues regarding custody, parenting decisions, parenting time, support, division of expenses, holidays, summers, vacations and insurance. Even when the parties think they have agreed on all issues, they usually forget a few pieces which may turn out to be a source of major conflict in the future.
The real questions that I look for is value. Did you get what, or better than, you paid? Would you rather have an attorney charge you $500 and sign papers or charge $5,000 and save you significant future battles and costs, or even uncover $50,000 of assets? It is easy to see how inept representation can cost far more than the dollars you save.
I recently had a case where the parties failed to include any language on relocation. When the mother wanted to move and assumed that she could take the children, significant litigation and legal fees were incurred by both parties, in addition to extreme hard feelings against one another. Had the parties included language regarding relocation, it is possible that the extensive litigation could have been avoided.
Generally “cheap” attorneys have less experience or qualifications than those that bill at a higher rate. Of course, there are some very good (and also some not so good) attorneys at any rate. That said, those of us attorneys charging a higher rate generally have experience to validate the hourly fee.
Easy, simple asset divorces do not have to cost as much and can often be accomplished for a set fee or. Often the attorney charging $300/hour will provide in depth answers without any research because they already know and understand the law. While the hourly rate may be more, the total cost may be less than with an attorney that charges $100-150/hour. Additonally, most good and busy attorneys do not provide free consultations other than your first phone call to schedule.
If you have questions or wish to further inquire, please call me. I’m not afraid to give a quote over the phone. For advice on divorce in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact us at [email protected] or call 581-MIKE (859-581-6453).