Family law matters involving child custody and divorce are important decisions in a person’s life. If you are looking for the assistance of a family lawyer, you are likely dealing with some turmoil in your home life. The consequences and impact of these decisions can not only affect your life but the lives of those you love.
A dedicated Maryland family attorney can handle your legal needs while you manage the emotional needs of yourself and your loved ones. We understand that you need compassion and experience during this difficult time. The legal team of Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC, will provide you with legal assistance throughout your Maryland divorce, separation, or custody case.
Divorce Costs in Howard County, Baltimore City, Maryland, the Washington Metropolitan Area, and the United States
Even though between 40% and 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, many married couples are not financially prepared to face this reality. Most people know someone who has been through a divorce. The expenses involved with a divorce can vary across the United States and within the state of Maryland.
The average cost of a divorce in the United States is $15,000 per person. This variance is based on the length of divorce proceedings and negotiations. A divorce includes the following expenses:
- Maryland court filing fees
- Lawyer’s hourly fees
- Expert fees (when needed), such as special couriers to transport legal letters, discovery professionals to sift through documents, etc.
Most attorneys bill on an hourly basis. When a divorce drags on, this hourly charge will cause the cost to rise. For reference, an average divorce can take between 4 and 11 months when a trial is not needed and a year or longer when a trial is involved.
On average, a decent Maryland attorney charges, at a minimum, $260 per hour. This fee will vary based on the Maryland location. Those living in a metropolitan area will pay the price for attorneys with offices in more expensive locations.
When considering the price a married couple will pay for a divorce, it is worth trying to keep the price down by working towards an agreement. A divorce can easily cost a year’s worth of your child’s college tuition. A divorce or separation should be carefully considered and not taken lightly.
Why Maryland Divorces Can Get Expensive
Maryland divorces can get costly when adding up the fees for court filings to the possibly contested divorce trials and extended negotiations. At-fault divorces and the involvement of child custody can also increase the expense of a divorce. The following breaks down these expenses:
Your Filing Fees
At the very least, you will be required to pay the court for the filing of your divorce. The filing fee in Maryland is around $165 but varies from Baltimore County to Montgomery County, and even to Prince George’s County. Most family law attorneys include the filing fee in their initial retainer, so you do not have to worry about paying it.
The Cost of Contested Divorces & Negotiations
A divorce can become more expensive during negotiations. Fundamental issues such as division of assets, alimony, or child custody can cause conflict with divorcing couples. These disputes can become expensive because your attorney must take the time to work on depositions and collect the necessary documentation to support your side of the dispute.
When one spouse refuses to come to the negotiation table, a new set of procedures is needed. The time needed for these procedures can be intensive, and attorneys charge based on the hours they work on a family law case. Those are the costs before even stepping foot in a court.
A divorce trial may be needed for a contested divorce, which can quickly get expensive. The average cost for a divorced couple to go through a trial is $20,000. Maryland family law judges require married couples to attempt to reach an agreement before a trial.
At-fault divorces are often more expensive than no-fault because the marriage usually does not end due to normal issues. Divorces ending from abuse or infidelity tend to be less amicable, and the accuser usually believes they are entitled to more than half of the assets. These types of divorces can get messy, and our law firm does not recommend Maryland residents attempt to handle at-fault divorces without the help of a family law attorney.
Divorce expenses can quickly increase when a divorce involves children. This is due to the complexity of discussions surrounding child support, custody, domestic violence, visitation, and relocation child custody cases. At an additional cost, your attorney may suggest a child custody attorney to ensure your children are okay throughout the divorce process.
A Quicker Divorce for Less Money
Hiring an attorney can help speed up your divorce, in addition to having a discussion with your spouse about considering an uncontested divorce. Whatever route you and your spouse take, our law firm hopes for an inexpensive and smooth journey toward your new lives. With the knowledge of a family law attorney from Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC, your legal separation or divorce can proceed efficiently.
Whether you want to keep your divorce expenses to a minimum or have started the process without a family law attorney and need to bring legal counsel to the table to untangle a messy situation, our team can help. Reach out to our family law attorney to discuss your case using our easy online contact form and schedule a confidential consultation with our virtual law firm today.