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- On September 16, 2016
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Many people contemplating divorce in Minneapolis have a big question: How much does it cost?
When people first consider this question, they are usually thinking about attorney fees as the principal cost. While that is a factor, it is only one of many costs that for which you must account. Even under the best circumstances, the process is much more expensive than most people realize.
Let’s consider some salient points.
An Uncontested Divorce is Far Less Costly than a Contested One
In an uncontested divorce, the ex-spouses come together in a spirit of cooperation and develop a plan for allocation of assets and debts. Inevitably, there are some disagreements. With the help of a mediator, however, it becomes possible to move forward constructively. While this can take some time, it’s by no means as lengthy or as expensive as a contested case.
An uncontested divorce helps you eliminate most costs related to court hearings and judgments. It can also be less taxing on an emotional level. It can be helpful when children are involved, since it places less pressure on them. When a separation starts, it’s important to reach out to a family law attorney to see if an uncontested approach is possible.
Most people do not realize just how common uncontested divorces are. With assistance from a trained expert in family law, the majority of divorces can be settled through mutual agreement.
The Costs of Contested Divorces are Difficult to Estimate
So many factors influence the cost of contested divorces that no general estimate can be made.
Typical costs include:
- Attorney’s fees
- Court costs
- Costs related to parent education
- Early neutral evaluations of assets
- Mediation costs
Some of these may be negotiable, but others are fixed based on practices within the state.
It’s important to realize there can be no certainty about how long a contested separation will take. There could be many court appearances required. Long deadlines for court filings and other paperwork can make the process drag on for months, increasing expenses.
The more antagonistic one’s spouse is, the more likely you will need to invest in extra attorney hours to bolster your case and support the outcome you want. Even with an aggressive strategy, total success is never guaranteed. Getting sound legal advice immediately is crucial.
Do You Hold Real Estate? Be Aware of the Risk of Higher Costs
In most divorces, the two most challenging issues are child custody and property.
In many cases, parents are able to come together on certain points of agreement regarding the future of their children. When it comes to houses and land, however, mutually satisfactory solutions are difficult.
Minnesota is a “no-fault” divorce state, so judges are expected to distribute marital property in a “just and equitable” way, no matter what circumstances contributed to the divorce. This means they have the power to craft a plan that’s fair, but not always “equal.”
When real estate is a factor, you can easily find yourself spending thousands of dollars more on divorce. An appraisal often needs to be performed, and deeds and other paperwork rewritten.
R. Leigh Frost Law
If you know a contested separation is inevitable, what can you do to protect your interests?
Being proactive is often the key to success. The sooner you connect with an expert in family law in Minneapolis, the more likely it is that you can control your costs and reach the results you want.
At R. Leigh Frost Law, we’ve worked with hundreds of divorce cases. That includes contested, uncontested, and mediation services in the earliest stages of separation. Our clients have learned that personalized legal advice is essential to a faster, less costly divorce.
Call or email us today for a free consultation.