Here, we will examine 5 common divorce fees. We will discuss typical prices of attorneys, expert witness fees and other necessary costs of divorce. We will also discuss how these fees are usually broken down, and who is responsible for paying these expenses.
1. Attorney fees:
Divorce lawyers charge their clients between $200-500 per hour based on their skills and experience. The attorney may also charge an up-front retainer fee ranging from $5,000-$10,000. Each spouse is responsible for paying their own attorney fees. But, under certain circumstances the other spouse can be ordered to pay the other spouses attorney fees.
2. Court fees:
Every family law courthouse requires divorcing parties to pay court filing fees. In some cases, these fees also include court reporter fees, clerk fees and copy fees. The court charges an initial divorce filing fee ranging from $200-$500 depending on the locality of the courthouse. Other filing fees include fees related to motions and request for orders. Generally, if a party does not have enough income to pay the court fees, the court may waive these fees.
3. Expert fees:
Depending on the complexity of the case, it may be necessary to employ experts in their field to help support a client’s position. An expert is anyone with advanced knowledge in their field of expertise. In the context of a divorce case, an expert can be a certified public accountant, forensic accountant or doctor. Experts usually charge divorcing party’s their usual hourly rate. Each spouse or client is responsible for paying their own experts fees.
4. Witness fees:
If a divorcing spouse wants to subpoena a person or agent of an entity to appear and testify at a hearing, that spouse must pay the witness a fee and mileage expense. If a spouse wants to subpoena records from a third party, he or she must pay the person or entity reasonable copying costs and handling fees.
5. Service of Process fees:
In almost every divorce case there will be fees associated with service of process. The law states that a party must provide the other party to the litigation, with copies of all documents that either party files with the court. Paying someone to serve documents is one of those unavoidable divorce costs.
All fees and costs of divorce are paid by the client separate from any fees paid to their attorney.
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