Costs of Divorce

Costs of Divorce

Costs of Divorce in Georgia

The costs of divorce can quickly add up; however, you do have some control over them.

It is difficult for an attorney to estimate the total cost of a divorce during the initial stages of the case. The reason for this is simple, divorce costs are ultimately a function of how much time the attorney and paralegals must spend to achieve your desired goals. Some cases last for 45 or 60 days and they become final. Some cases can take a year or longer to complete. As you can imagine, the cost difference between these cases is significant. Different issues in each case will be a factor in how much time is needed to ensure you have confidence in the case and your decisions.

Burns Smith Law’s vast experience with these cases will help us effectively use your fees, keeping you informed of the costs and all options. There are ways you can influence the costs of the case:

  1. The more reasonable your approach, seeing compromise and settlement have value, the less time it will likely take to finalize the case therefore reducing costs. However, if the other side is unreasonable, the case may take additional time and to that degree is less controllable.
  2. Your organization can assist with the time we spend on your matter. Imagine the time and cost savings for a client who proves an excel spreadsheet or notebook with accounts, balances, debts, mortgage statements, retirement accounts, extra circular costs and the like versus our office having to obtain that information or go through boxes of paper to find it.
  3. Work with our experienced paralegals as much as possible. We have well trained paralegals that assist the lawyers in your case. The paralegals can handle a wide range of tasks. They will assist in gathering documents, helping you with pleadings and discovery matters, assisting lawyers in preparing notebooks and files. They are a wealth of information and can answer most all your general questions. Paralegals cannot provide legal advice, but these professionals will know you and your case very well. It is part of their job to keep you fully informed, obtaining all information needed by the attorney on your case. Paralegals bill at a significantly lower hourly rate than an attorney.
  4. Hire an attorney with experience especially locally. The retainer fee may be cheaper elsewhere, but an inexperienced attorney may end up costing more in the long run by billing you on matters that an experienced lawyer would have handled differently.
  5. Be Responsive – When you receive documents, pleadings or discovery requests make sure you communicate well with your attorney or paralegal. Provide any requested information in full as quickly as possible. By doing so you will ensure your lawyer’s office is not spending valuable time and money tracking you down.

Understanding Costs and Fees:

Lawyers and paralegals charge for their time. Time on your case is spent in several ways.

  • We will spend time communicating with you via phone calls, letters, emails, texts and the like. Each communication will have corresponding time for our office.
  • We will spend time communicating with the other side. This will take the same form as our communications with you.
  • Our office will spend time gathering and analyzing different documents in your case. This would be bank statements, real estate documents, retirement accounts, emails, letters, phone records, school records, employment information, pay stubs, W2 information, just to name a few.

Mediation or other alternative resolution areas:

We will spend time at mediation trying to resolve your matter. Oftentimes this is the best money you will spend on your case. At mediation we will learn a great deal from the other side on how this case will look if it goes to trial. We will have time during mediation to focus solely on the possibility of settlement of some or all issues in your case.