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Michigan Family Law Blog

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

How Much Will My Michigan Divorce Cost?

The cost of your divorce will depend on several factors, like how complicated your situation is and whether you and your spouse can resolve your differences amicably. Even in a non-contested divorce, you will have court fees. Attorney fees can vary widely. Some people try to act as their own lawyer, but many end up having to spend money to clean up their mistakes. A Michigan divorce attorney can answer your questions, like how much your Michigan will cost.

Divorce Court Fees

Typically, you will have a filing fee to file the initial paperwork with the court. This amount can vary from one county to another.

When a person dodges getting served by the sheriff, you might need to hire a special process server, which will add to the costs. The court’s summons and the divorce petition must get served personally on the defendant, if possible. The summons is only valid for a limited time. Whenever the summons expires, you have to pay the court to issue a new summons.

If you do not know where your spouse lives, you might have to serve notice of the divorce by publication in the legal newspaper. The newspaper charges publication fees.

Divorce Legal Fees

Divorce lawyers often charge around $200 to $300 an hour, but a young lawyer fresh out of law school might charge less, and a highly experienced attorney might charge more. Most divorce lawyers require clients to pay a retainer, which is a deposit for legal fees. The retainer is usually less than the anticipated fees for the case.

It is in your best interest financially to try to reach a fair and reasonable settlement of as many issues as possible. Your lawyer will handle the contested issues and prepare the documents for the items on which you and your spouse agree.

Sometimes, the emotions and stress of divorce get the better of people, and they think they have to fight with their spouse about every item. This attitude is understandable since divorce is the death of a dream. You might feel betrayed, cheated, or simply angry. Just realize that every time your attorney has to go to battle for you, it will take the lawyer’s time, which will increase your legal fees.

Expert Witnesses in a Divorce

Depending on the facts of your situation, you might need to hire an expert witness. If you or your spouse own a business, you might need to hire a business valuation expert to determine the economic value of the company. If one of you is disabled, you might need a medical expert to testify about the disabling condition and a vocational expert to evaluate how the injury or illness affects the person’s ability to work for a living.

Expert witnesses can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a divorce. In a case that needs expert testimony, the expert witness fees can be money well spent.

You should talk with the lawyer at the initial consultation about the fees and make sure that you know what to expect. A Michigan divorce attorney can help you navigate through the divorce process and protect your rights. Contact ours today.


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