The only honest answer is “I don’t know.” Any lawyer who quotes a flat amount is either inexperienced or deceptive. If indeed you and your spouse have agreed on everything, and nothing has to be communicated or negotiated – much less investigated or litigated – you may be able to keep lawyer expenses under $1000; but that is unrealistic. Even the simplest cases usually involve “unexpected” additional back-and-forth regarding procedures, changes that the other spouse or his/her lawyer demands, and the disagreements that so often do arise. And then what was so simple, simply “ain’t.”
We tell new and prospective clients the costs of specific processes that may come into play over the course of a divorce – the potential developments that make it impossible to predict the final fee.
Here are some of the cost components that are important to know:
For the sake of your bank account and your children’s college education funds – as well as everyone’s mental health – you’ll want to keep things as amicable as possible and reach an agreement as quickly as possible. No one can predict the future, but good lawyers will protect your interests while guiding you to as prompt and low-cost a resolution as possible. Our reputations depend on it.
Robert K. Downs is a partner with Chicago, IL family law firm Downs Law Offices.