The cost of a divorce depends on many factors. The value of the marital assets often has little relation to the cost of the divorce. In my work as a divorce lawyer, I have represented clients of very modest means who were willing to spend many thousands on the divorce. I have also worked with clients with assets valued at several million, who reached a quick agreement and spent very little. In my view, the level of cooperation between the spouses is the most important factor. Spouses who wish to “get back” at the ex-husband/wife have personal, not financial, motivations, and in some cases, are willing to spend far more in attorney fees to prove their point. Unfortunately, the judge does not always agree, and that spouse may not get the satisfaction she seeks. Higher fees may also result if the communication between the attorney and client is not smooth. Clients and lawyers who are difficult to contact, do not return calls, or fail to provide requested information break up this communication. This leads to inefficiency in the relationship and work product, and higher bills. Of course, there are times when a case presents a particularly complicated legal issue, and the fees will be higher solely because of the amount of necessary work. Because of the variety of factors that affect legal fees, it is impossible to give an exact estimate of fees in a family case.
Every client and lawyer should have regular discussions about the cost of the case. There should be a constant analysis of the cost and benefit of various options available to the client. This is an important part of the communication discussed above. An analysis of the cost is one of the ways that divorce clients keep an active role in their case and ensure a harmonious relationship with their attorney.