Getting a divorce is not an easy process, and there are many things that can impact the course of litigation. It is important to consider what can drive up the cost of an Atlanta divorce as you begin your case. The factors that go into the cost of a divorce depend on the contentious nature of a case. Typically, the two things that increase the cost of a case are disagreements on financials and/or custody of children.
Other factors to consider is simply the time it takes to go through documents and emails provided by the client and by the opposing party, discovery, drafting documents, researching case law to support a request, and talking with any party involved albeit the client, opposing counsel, mediators, court representatives, etc. A skilled divorce attorney works with our clients to keep the costs down whenever possible, but to properly and successfully represent a client, there must be a state of trust between the client and the firm that the client’s best interest is always at the heart of all work completed.
An attorney’s hourly fees are based on experience and skill. For example, a paralegal, attorney, senior attorney, and litigation manager would all have varying hourly rates. Clients are billed on an hourly rate and charged on a schedule that is specific to the firm they hire. They should be able to see the entire breakdown of how their money is being spent with each invoice. Not only does this allow them to know the cost of their case and if they are staying on budget, but it provided client’s a status update and informs them of all the work done on their case on a regular basis.
A security deposit, or retainer, is taken at the beginning of a case to secure the services of the Atlanta Divorce Law Group and is held in a client trust. It is refunded back to the client at the end of the matter.
When minor children are involved in a divorce, there are additional documents that have to be completed such as parenting plans, child support and custody agreements, and an addendum. Whether a parent wants shared, primary, or sole custody can also impact the cost of an Atlanta divorce, because it often involves negotiations and additional court proceedings.
If both parties are contentious, the unfortunate side effect is that custody of the children is used as leverage versus considering what’s truly best for all involved. The contentious nature can often drag out divorce or modification proceedings. It is the attorney’s responsibility to ensure that each client gets the best representation, is educated on the process, and understands what’s reasonable within the law.