Filing for a divorce can be mentally, emotionally, and financially challenging. It’s a good idea to speak with a legal professional to determine what your options are before moving forward. Each situation is different, but the team from Divorce Options San Diego—experienced professionals who are revolutionizing the divorce process with expert divorce mediation San Diego couples can rely on for creative divorce solutions—offer this advice about expenses you might encounter when getting divorced in San Diego.
Fees for Legal Paperwork
Filing legal documents with the court is a necessary part of the divorce process. Some of these documents include the initial petition, financial information, and settlement agreements. In addition to filing these documents, you generally need to pay the fees to serve the legal paperwork to your spouse or his or her divorce lawyer, if you’re using attorneys.
When going through traditional divorces, many individuals hire attorneys to make sure their paperwork is filed correctly and to receive legal representation in court. The fees for divorce attorneys vary. Most lawyers charge by the hour, with rates as low as $150 per hour to more than $500 for each hour of service. If you choose to hire an attorney, you may need to pay additional fees for paralegal assistance and other legal staff, depending on the divorce law firm you select.
In addition to attorney’s fees, there are other costs your lawyer will expect you to cover throughout the trial, which can be a long, drawn-out process. If your team calls on expert witnesses and consultants, they must be compensated for their testimony. These experts could include appraisers, social workers, or financial analysts. The median income in San Diego will determine how much you’re expected to pay these professionals for the time they spend testifying on your behalf. It’s common to spend thousands of dollars on miscellaneous expenses like these.
There’s a six-month waiting period for all couples filing for divorce in San Diego. Once those six months pass, the process could take many more months, or even years, to complete. The more time the divorce takes, the more expensive the process will be. An amicable split with no children could be resolved more quickly, as opposed to a high-conflict divorce that involves kids. If you and your spouse are using attorneys, once you file for divorce, you have to be assigned a court date based on the court calendar. Your attorney must be available on this date, or you’ll have to reschedule. Some spouses intentionally delay the trial, leading to more expenses and longer waiting periods.
Mediation is a popular and much less expensive alternative to hiring lawyers. A neutral third party (a professional mediator) will mediate the disputes between you and your spouse, helping you both reach an agreement. Although the mediator actively participates in the negotiations, you and your spouse have full control over the decisions pertaining to the divorce, and you never have to go to court. Once you’ve reached an agreement, a signed copy will be sent to the court and signed by the judge.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the expensive, contentious, attorney-centered manner in which divorces are usually handled, call on the trustworthy professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. We’re experienced divorce mediators San Diego couples can rely on to help them dissolve their marriages in a fair way based on mutual respect, leaving both parties satisfied and ready to move on with their lives. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628 to learn more.