This question is on the forefront of every client's mind when they begin contemplating the divorce process. There is no easy answer to this question; however the factors that will affect the cost include:
- the personalities of the parties involved (are they litigious or are they willing to be reasonable in their settlement expectations)
- the personalities of the attorneys involved (do they revert to litigation for every single issue that arises, or are they willing to try to discuss the issue with the opposing attorney
- the number and complexity of issues involved (maitenance, child support, parenting issues, dissipation, personal property determining and/or tracing non-marital assets, valuing a business, valuing property)
When the parties involved are able to communicate effectively, when there is no verbal, mental, or physical abuse, and when the parties trust each other to disclose all relevant information, mediation is a non-confrontational solution to resolving your marital difficulties. The Law Offices of David S. Kerpel offers the option of using skilled mediators when it is appropriate to the circumstances.
You can control costs by assisting your attorney and professionals associated with your proceedings. Gather your pertinent information, documents, and files. Transfer files onto a flash drive or email it in a separate file folder via Drop Box or another tool. Make your own copies. Set realistic goals. Be concise, and focus on facts relevant to your case.
Similar to participating in mediation, a neutral business or real estate appraiser should only be chosen when the parties have been completely forthright in the exchange of information, and are willing to compromise in their pursuit of litigating their respective rights. Agreeing to use a mutual expert can save the parties thousands of dollars, and months and months of extended litigation.
A support or parenting order can only be modified by filing a petition usually in the court where the prior order establishing the parenting or support order was entered. Especially important to remember is the fact that child support can only be modified from the time a petition is filed and noticed before the court. If you believe a payer's income has substantially increased since the last support order was entered, you should likely file the petition as soon as possible. If you choose to wait to file, you will not be able to obtain a retroactive increase from before the time you file the petition.
Discovery is the process by which your attorney obtains relevant information concerning every facet of your case. Discovery is probably the most important aspect of your case. Whether the issues of your divorce or paternity deal with finances, decision-making, parenting time, or even grounds of your divorce, discovery is the process by which you obtain all of the relevant facts to support your case. Discovery can take many forms including depositions, written requests for information (often called interrogatories), and subpoenas.
Dissipation is strictly defined as property which is improperly used for the sole benefit of one spouse, for a purpose unrelated to the marriage, at a time when the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. Some commons examples of dissipation include:
- Spending money on a boyfriend or girlfriend
- Gambling losses
- Reckless investing of funds
- Destruction of personal property
- Failing to maintain the mortgage on a home