Explaining the Costs of the Divorce Process
Everyone who is getting a divorce in St. Louis, filing a paternity suit, or asking for a modification of an earlier judgment is going to be anxious. They need to know about their rights, their future, time with their children, and everything else that matters. For most, the cost of the divorce is another worry.
Every divorce case in St. Louis is different. We say the cost of a divorce depends on how expensive the other side makes it. It’s also expensive because it takes so long to get in front of the judge.
Before the trial date, both attorneys will have one, maybe two, “settlement conferences” with the judge in chambers. These court dates will be costly, and your attorney will also have to prepare for them. However, they are worth it if your attorney takes them seriously. Every conference with the judge is an important shot at arguing your case, so your attorney should be the most prepared person in the judge’s chambers that day. This will give him or her credibility with the judge and ammunition to refute any misstatements or outright lies presented by the opposing counsel.
Few divorces are finished in less than 6 months, as the dockets are full and there are many rules involving how quickly something can be brought up before the court.
The cost of a divorce can drop significantly if during these months, if tensions die down and spouses can begin to work out the details of child custody and how to divide the property. If you find that your attorney is not supportive and seems to want to go to trial, you should get a second opinion. They may be putting their desire for more legal fees over your best interests.
In general, the crazy expensive, break the bank, “scorched earth policy” divorces are the ones that involve child custody battles. If Vicious, Dirty lies are made up about you, for example that you are a danger to your child or have (the very worst) sexually abused your child, then the costs of fighting back can be astronomical.
I had a case where I represented the father of two small children and I truly believe that the mother and her parents were pathological liars. They were committed to getting sole custody of the children. In truth, the father was great and his kids loved him madly. He was a victim in every sense of the word. It took herculean effort to overcome the lies said about him. We won in the end but the cost, even with my write offs, was very high.
The cost of a divorce attorney in St. Louis will vary based upon your circumstances.