It’s a tough decision to get a divorce, and the process is full of emotional struggles. How you and your spouse separate has a big effect on the cost of divorce. Separating with the help of a family law attorney can make divorce faster and less stressful, though it can also be expensive. Understanding what can make a divorce attorney cost more or less in Columbia, Maryland, can help determine what’s right for your divorce.
The total average of divorce fees in Maryland is $11,000. This average cost includes attorney fees, court costs, and additional expert fees. Most divorce lawyers charge on an hourly basis. The longer a divorce takes, the more expensive it is. A divorce can last anywhere from three months to several years.
The hourly rate for a divorce lawyer in Maryland ranges from $200 to $300 or more. This rate depends on several factors, including:
An uncontested divorce is generally the least expensive form of divorce. This means that you and your spouse agree to get a divorce and are able to negotiate a separation agreement. There are still attorney mediation fees and filing fees, but the overall cost is much lower, and the process is faster.
If you and your partner have children together who are not old enough to live on their own, this makes divorce take longer. Visitation, custody, and support are all important decisions that must be made in a separation agreement. A longer divorce is more expensive.
Disagreements make for a more expensive divorce. Disputes come up during the process of drafting a separation agreement over essential aspects like:
These are all very important issues, and many couples can’t come to an agreement. If this is the case, an attorney will need to begin the discovery process to gather the necessary financial information from documents and depositions. The more disputes you and your spouse have, the longer the process will take. These negotiations take time and money.
If negotiations fail, or divorce is contested from the beginning, your divorce case will enter trial. Trials are significantly more expensive and can take several years to finalize. Couples should do everything possible to resolve their issues outside of court through settlement negotiations.
In Maryland, you can file for a no-fault or an at-fault divorce. No-fault divorces are either filed based on mutual consent or after a year of separation.
A fault divorce provides grounds for the divorce and may include:
These divorces are usually contentious and require attorneys to prove or disprove the accusations that are given as grounds. At-fault divorces are often filed so that the accusing spouse can receive higher spousal support or a greater amount of assets. An attorney can help determine if this difference is worth the cost of filing for an at-fault divorce.
Working with an attorney makes filing for divorce less stressful and limits mistakes in the filing and negotiation processes. The aspects that make a less expensive divorce include:
It’s very rare that spouses agree completely on all aspects of a divorce.
The filing fee for a divorce in Maryland is $165, and the average total of attorney and court fees for a divorce is $11,000. This amount depends on factors such as:
The average cost of a family lawyer in Maryland is $305 an hour. If your divorce is contested or an at-fault divorce, it will likely have a higher rate. Divorce cases where there are intense negotiations, agreements that can’t be reached, or that enter trial are significantly more expensive because of how much longer they take to resolve.
It’s important to ensure that all legal issues are taken care of and that you and your ex-spouse are following your divorce orders. After a big life change like a divorce, it’s useful to review beneficiaries for life insurance, estate plans, and other important accounts. You want to be sure you’re taking care of yourself and any children you may have.
Maryland allows couples to file for no-fault and at-fault divorces. At-fault divorces point to an external cause for divorce, such as infidelity, incarceration, or abuse. This external cause must be proven, or a spouse may attempt to disprove it. The divorce will take longer and be more expensive. A no-fault divorce can be filed under mutual consent or physical separation for a year. A mutual consent filing for absolute divorce will include a written separation agreement signed by both spouses.
A divorce is a difficult decision, but it is often essential to transitioning to a new stage of your life. At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, we want to guide you through this difficult time and provide you with effective legal support. Contact our firm today for assistance with your divorce.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044