Costs to Hiring a Divorce Attorney

Posted: 28 November, 2022

If humans were perfectly logical, a divorce would be simple and you would not need an attorney.  If you “could” take out the emotion, spouses could easily agree to child support, child custody visitation, spousal support, and division of assets.  With everyone in agreement you could file an uncontested divorce.    But, “most” spouses are human.  This means emotion has a way of sneaking into the divorce.

Because of the emotion, and the bad blood, many couples are unable settle everything easily.  This is when you have a contested divorce, and when you need to hire a divorce lawyer.

If you are able to agree with your spouse on the terms of a divorce, you can file an uncontested divorce.  If you are not sure,  use our Joint Petition Worksheet to test the waters.  The worksheet helps you walk through the terms for an uncontested divorce with your spouse.   If you both agree, you can file an uncontested divorce.  Costs for an uncontested range between $1,000 and $2,500, depending if you hire a lawyer to help with the documents.

Divorce Attorney Fees

So how much does a divorce cost in Las Vegas? It’s hard to know exactly what your contested divorce will cost. We have ideas  or averages, but exact numbers are hard to determine because we don’t know what your spouse or their attorney are going to do.

Your spouse may be emotionally unhinged and willing to go to fight for unreasonable claims.  For example, we have seen $20,000 divorce cases because the other spouse wanted a judge to know their spouse had an affair. Unfortunately, divorce courts don’t care about affairs.  We’ve also had couples spend $4,000 in attorneys fees to fight for a $1,000 washer and dryer.  Obviously this doesn’t makes sense, but emotions can over rule logic. It happens.

Contested Divorce Fees

If your are unable to either file a Joint Petition you will need a divorce attorney to help with a “contested divorce.” Divorce lawyers have two main ways to charge for a contested divorce, either hourly or fixed fee.

Under the hourly billing method an attorney charges you for every minute of work on your case. At the end of the month the law firm sends you a bill. This bill could be one hour or it could be more than twenty  hours.

With a fixed fee, the attorney lists the tasks he or she will perform and the cost. You only pay the fixed fee for the listed tasks.  It doesn’t matter how many hours are spent on the tasks.

Right Lawyers typically charges a fixed fee for divorces and custody matters.  The average fixed fee for a contested divorce is $6,000.    Some will settle quicker than expected, costing $3,500.  While others are legitimate contested divorces going to trial.  These type of divorces can cost between $10,000 and $20,000.

Keys to Hiring the Best Divorce Attorney

Hire a lawyer with at least three or more years of divorce experience, or child custody experience.  You want a lawyer who has specific experience  in family court.   Don’t use a business attorney to represent you in a family court or vice versa.  They are two completely different types of law. In Las Vegas, they are also two completely different courts.  You wouldn’t hire a foot doctor for your heart surgery.   Same concept.

Next look for online reviews which speak about both the attorney and staff. You will be dealing with the staff as much as the attorney.  Most times you can get a good feel for the law firm on the first phone call.   Were they friendly.   Did they answer your questions?  Did they take a message?  And most important, did the attorney call you back?

Look for an attorney that reasonable believes and supports your requests.  Does the attorney agree with your request for primary custody, or your wish to keep the home.   If not, then you might have the wrong divorce lawyer.  Although, if you talk with two or three attorneys and none of them think you can win on an issue, then maybe you need to rethink your requests.   No sense in fighting and paying huge attorneys fees for a losing cause.

Speak with a law firm that provides you with an initial consultation with an actual divorce attorney.   Some have you meet with a paralegal first.  Working with a paralegal after you hire the attorney is acceptable, and quite normal.  But your first consult should be with an attorney.

If your case is likely to go to trial, then look for an attorney with trail experience. Just because they have an attorney license doesn’t mean they know how to handle a trial.  You don’t want to be someone’s guinea pig.

Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer

  • How many times have you handled a divorce trial?
  • How many years of of divorce law experience do you have?
  • What are your typical fees?
  • Are your fees hourly or fixed?
  • Who else in your office will be working on my case?
  • In your experience, what do you think the judge will do in my case?

Listen for answers that are honest (even though you may not like them) versus answers given only to get your business. If everything sounds too good to be true, consult with another attorney for a second opinion.   No downside to getting a second opinion.

When to Hire a Divorce Attorney

Like we said, hiring a divorce lawyer is not required. Yet in some situations, you have to choose between your wallet and your health. Divorces are stressful as well as exhausting. Consider hiring a divorce lawyer to handle things for you and focus on your future.

If any of the following situations apply to you, then you should consider hiring a Las Vegas divorce lawyer.

  • If your eyes glaze over every time you read a legal document, you may want to hire an attorney.
  • If speaking in court in front of a judge scares you, you may want to hire an attorney.
  • If you are seeking protective orders (or TPO) against a spouse, you want to hire an attorney.  Cases involving protective orders are too difficult  to handle on your own.
  • If you and your spouse have a considerable amount of debt, you want to hire an attorney.   You don’t want to end up paying your ex’s debts.
  • If you own a business, you want to hire an attorney.   Business evaluations require expert legal assistance.
  • If one of the contested issues is alimony or spousal support, you want to hire an attorney.  Spousal support formulas are complex.
  • If your spouse has left the state with the children, you want to hire an attorney. Child Custody Relocation cases are too complicated to handle without a lawyer.

Looking to Hire a Divorce Attorney? Call RIGHT Lawyers today at  (702) 914-0400