The Cost of Divorce in Alabama
There is no sugar-coating it: Divorce, while necessary, can be a difficult and costly affair. The more issues that you and your spouse can agree upon, the easier and cheaper the divorce process will be. If your divorce is heavily contested, however, and if it involves complex issues concerning finances, property division, and child custody, you are likely to spend more. Read on for a discussion of the costs of divorce in Alabama, and reach out to an experienced and understanding Alabama divorce lawyer for help with an Alabama family law matter.
At a minimum, every divorce will involve some court fees. The fees vary by county, but across Alabama, filing and completing a divorce will cost around $200-$300. Applicants with financial hardship may be able to secure a waiver of court fees.
Evidence, Motions, Experts
If you and your spouse are not able to agree on everything, you will need to proceed through a contested divorce process. You will need to collect evidence about each party’s finances, file requests for discovery and other motions in court, and perhaps even retain experts concerning business valuation, child psychology, real estate valuation, and forensic accounting. The costs of evidence and experts are higher in more complex cases.
In all cases, the more that you and your spouse can agree on, the cheaper and faster the divorce will be. Mediation and settlement negotiations are generally much cheaper than going through the process of a trial. Discuss your circumstances with a qualified family law attorney to find out what costs are likely to arise in your divorce, and how best to lessen those costs.
Your legal fees will vary depending on your attorney and the complexity of the matter. Some attorneys will charge a flat fee for handling an uncontested divorce with no children, while others will always charge an hourly fee or some other arrangement, such as a specific cost per type of legal task performed. Ask your lawyer about their fee structure in your initial consultation. You can expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars even for the most simple, uncontested divorce.
Alabama family law attorneys charge an average of $294 per hour for legal services. If your divorce is heavily contested and involves complicated issues, you can expect to pay more in legal fees. Hiring a good lawyer is, however, worth the cost. You will have a stronger case for protecting your property and your rights, and you are much more likely to get a favorable settlement or court decision with the right legal team on your side.