The hardest decision that many people make in their lives is the decision to file for divorce. While this decision can be freeing and come as a relief, the actual process of divorce can easily become extremely difficult and trying, especially if minor children are involved. Child custody cases are often tricky, and can takes years to come to a settling place. Whatever your family law issue, from a simple divorce to custody of multiple minor children and the division of marital asset, having an experienced divorce attorney on your side is a must.
The family law attorneys at Tommalieh Law are dedicated to seeing their clients through the divorce process, no matter how long or difficult the dissolution of marriage is. We know how sensitive divorce and child custody issues can be, and we're here to make sure you leave the court room happy with the outcome of your family law issues.
Should I hire an attorney for my divorce?
The more difficult your divorce, the more likely you are to need an attorney by your side in Naperville, IL. Any legal issue pertaining to parenting time or parental responsibilities, the division of marital property, most normally runs smoother with attorneys involved. Rather than having to have discussion with your ex-partner and deal with those feelings and difficulties, communicating through lawyers often removes the emotions from the situation, making everything run smoother.
Attorneys are often also able to give their clients legal advice on whether or not their wishes are realistic. For example, if one party wants full custody and hefty child support guidelines, but the other parent is disabled and unable to work, therefore unable to pay child support, the first parties attorney can advise them of such before mediation or court, saving time arguing for something that will not be granted.
Even if you have a basic, childless divorce, having an attorney on your side guarantees that not only will you be able to avoid further emotional encounters with your ex-spouse, but that all of your legal matters will be handled as quickly as possible. Savings months or years of arguing and waiting is well worth the cost of a family law attorney.
How much does a divorce attorney cost?
The average rate for a divorce attorney in the United States sits right around $270 an hour. Without context, this price can seem extreme to many. On average, the typical divorcee pays anywhere between $2000 to $7000 in attorney fees during their divorce. In extreme cases, such as property division of millions of dollars worth of assets, or extremely lengthy child custody issues, the cost of legal services in the divorce process can cost upwards of $30,000. These types of complex divorce proceedings, however, are extremely rare and most likely do not pertain to you.
Many attorney's offer "package prices" for easy divorces, or may allow you to set up a payment plan. Don't let the price scare you, making sure you have your best foot forward is more important than saving money.
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Whether or not you hire an attorney, there are additional fees you have to pay to the court, such as filing fees for your divorce petition. These fees on average cost around $500 total, though can reach much higher if there are martial disputes holding up the process of divorce.
Is mediation an option?
If you and your ex-spouse are still able to communicate effectively, mediation may be an option. Speaking to your spouse and working out a plan together is often the quickest path to divorce, especially if you and your ex-partner are able to avoid a custody battle, and work out a parenting time plan together. Mediation often also leaves both parties relatively happy at the end, whereas fighting out your divorce in court often leaves both parties upset and frustrated, with no final say in the judges decision.
Many people believe that they can use mediation to get a one-up on their ex-partner. However, that is normally not the case. Even if one party manages to bully the other party into an unfair or detrimental settlement, that settlement still needs to be approved and signed by a judge. If the settlement is extremely weighted in one person's favor, at the unreasonable expense of the other person, the judge will most likely reject the settlement. This is why it's important to listen to the mediator and their legal advice, and follow that advice.
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A judge can send you back to mediation as many times as they wish, and those who are not able to work out an acceptable settlement during mediation often waste money on mediation and still have to pay for a private attorney and attend divorce court in order to reach a settlement.
How much does mediation cost?
Instead of hiring two attorneys, both parties share one attorney during mediation, who simply gives unbiased legal advice to both parties to help them build a settlement together that they can both agree on. Because of this, you will only have to pay for half of the attorneys fees and your ex-partner will pay the other half of the attorney fees. The average cost of divorce mediation is around $3000 total. Once split, each party would pay around $1500. This is a huge decrease from the cost of private counsel and a contested divorce.
This price can rise if you need multiple mediation sessions, or if a judge rejects your settlement and you have to rework it. This means if you have a large estate to split or multiple children to discuss custody of and child support for, or you and your ex-spouse cannot come to a decision, your price will be higher.
However, if you are able to make these decisions amicably and reasonably you will still save money compared to a court room divorce with private counsel. You may not walk away with everything you want, but no one is ever perfectly happy with a divorce and walking away with a good deal is better than having someone else make all of the decisions for you.
Most divorce lawyers also offer mediation services. At Tommalieh Law we are dedicated to helping our clients reach the fastest, happiest, and cheapest conclusion to their divorce and family law proceedings and offer mediation services for all of our clients when requested.
Let's move forward together
If you're ready to truly begin your divorce journey in the Chicago area, or if your ex-spouse has filed divorce proceedings against you, it's better to hire a Naperville divorce lawyer sooner rather than later. You don't want to be a step behind in something as important as your parenting time or your money.
At Tommalieh Law family lawyers, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best legal advice and counsel possible, backed by our years of experience in family law court rooms. Call us today for a free initial consultation. During this consultation we will explore your estate and custody wishes with you, help you build an initial game plan, and ready ourselves to fight for a fair divorce for you.