The first question people ask is how much is this going to cost. The next question is how long is this going to take. Length of time isn’t always a direct correlation of costs however. A specific factor that often drives up the cost of attorney’s fees in a divorce is aggressiveness which is typically a result of the contentious nature of the situation. The more aggressive a case is, the more costly it will be. An opposing party who is trying to be contentious or difficult can significantly increase the cost of litigation.
Going to court increases costs, so informal negotiations or attending mediation for a day can keep the cost down by minimizing court proceedings. Truth be told, this is how most cases are resolved. Regardless of what people say, most cases do not end up in front of a judge for him or her to make the final decisions on assets or custody or some other factor. Doing informal negotiations or going to mediation can resolve issues even when the parties are at extreme odds.
Another factor that can drag a case out is disagreements on the custody arrangement for the children involved. This often involves determining the type of custody arrangement that will work (50/50, primary, etc), parenting plans, who has final decision making on certain things such as education or medical along with child support. If parents can’t agree on these items, it will require a longer more drawn out process that will increase the attorney’s fees. While the lawyer should be conscientious of the client’s financial situation, what’s more important in this situation is to do what’s best for the children which may mean taking an aggressive approach when necessary.
A lawyer and paralegal would be involved in every aspect of a case, which means that they must review and respond to each development. Reviewing documents, emails, and videos; talking to a client, opposing counsel, the court, a mediator, or anyone involved in the case; drafting documents; filing mail, faxes, and emails from anyone can all take a lot of time and therefore a lot of billable hours. Every communication from an experienced divorce attorney must be delivered with purpose and meaning, so it takes longer to draft a response than it would in a regular conversation where what someone says could not harm a case. How the length of a case affects the cost of an Atlanta divorce largely depends on individual circumstances.
The length of the time a divorce can take from start to finish varies on a case by case basis. Some cases may take five to six months, while others can take over a year. How the length of a case affects the cost of an Atlanta divorce also depends on how amicable versus contentious it is. At the end of a typical Atlanta divorce case, there would a 30-day waiting period before the final order can be signed under Georgia law.
The length of a case can affect the cost of an Atlanta divorce. A case that lasts a long time with a substantial amount of work is going to be expensive. The more complex a case is and the more disagreement there is between parties, the longer it is going to take and the greater the costs will be.
However, sometimes the strategy in an Atlanta divorce involves taking time and not rushing through the process. A claimant is only charged for the work that their attorney actually does, so the length of time may not always affect the cost if an amicable divorce takes less of the attorney or paralegals time.