The landscape of marriage has changed quite a bit in the United States over the past fifty years or so. While U.S. divorce rates had begun steadily climbing as early as the 1870s, the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 70s saw a massive uptick in divorce. And while the divorce rates of the past couple of decades have remained fairly steady, the current overall rate in the U.S. is thought to be somewhere between 40 and 50%. These numbers aren’t exact, as divorce is a difficult thing to measure, but it’s nevertheless apparent that divorce is far more common now than it was in the past.
Divorces are usually emotionally taxing, as they mark a major shift in the lives of at least two individuals (not to mention the lives of potential children and other family members). Additionally, divorces involve a lot of time and energy devoted to sorting out and distributing finances, items, property, and certain rights (such as custody). All of this management is often exacerbated by all of this emotional distress, therefore making things even more difficult to get straight. This is a major reason why divorce lawyers are so important.
What do Divorce Lawyers Do?
Simply put, divorce attorneys oversee the entire divorce operation from beginning to end. This includes consulting with the client(s) to understand their desires and needs, drafting up divorce papers to be approved or revised in part by the client(s), and eventually taking the cases to court if need be.
The only reason a divorce case would need to go to court, however, is if it’s a contested divorce. Contested divorces are cases in which one or both parties in the divorce disagree to one or more of the proposed terms. If an agreement cannot be reached, it is eventually up to a judge to decide the final terms of the divorce. Contested divorce forms most commonly deal with disagreements over custody or finances.
If a divorce is not contested it is known as an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce lawyers have a somewhat easier job than those dealing with contested divorces since a court appearance is typically unnecessary. Instead, an uncontested divorce lawyer simply needs their client(s) to pay the court filing fee at the conclusion of the process. This normally costs between $200 and $400 depending on state regulations and other factors.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost?
Divorce lawyers are highly skilled professionals who are educated to understand the complexities and smallest details of divorce law. As a result, a good divorce attorney isn’t cheap. Still, the cost of divorce lawyer will vary depending on several factors. For instance, more seasoned lawyers from larger firms with several cases under their belt tend to charge more, since they’ve proven their value. On the other hand, younger lawyers newer to the field don’t have as much clout and usually won’t cost as much.
Additionally, the length of the divorce process can be a large contributing factor to how much one pays their lawyer. The longer the process, the more consultations clients will have with their lawyer, meaning more money spent. Many lawyers charge by the hour, and those hours can add up over time to a shocking degree.
But for those seeking an uncontested divorce lawyer, chances are the cost will be much lower than otherwise. After all, uncontested divorces tend to move a lot more quickly than contested divorces since both parties agree to the terms once they are laid out. The client also won’t need to worry about their time spent in court, since there most likely will be none.
Is an Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Necessary?
In the case of an uncontested divorce it’s technically not necessary to hire a lawyer. However, seeking the counsel of an educated and experienced professional is never a bad idea. Divorces are often difficult and at times perplexing, even if both parties are civil and in agreement. This is in part why it’s best to hire a divorce lawyer to handle any type of divorce case. These professionals take the pressure off their clients to do the tedious and frustrating tasks such as filing paperwork, checking for errors, etc. By hiring a good divorce attorney, the clients can focus on their wellbeing first.