Have you always heard that getting a divorce is expensive, but don't know why? It helps to understand what some of the unforeseen costs are with getting a divorce so that you can be well prepared.
Process Serving Fees
Even if you are having a collaborative divorce with your spouse, you still must pay for process serving. This involves having a neutral third party deliver the divorce paperwork to your spouse and certify that it has been received. As weird as it may be, you can't just give the paperwork to your spouse in a legal situation like this.
Document Copying Fees
Know that many divorce lawyers still work with paper copies of documents, and a divorce can have a lot of paperwork that needs to be printed. If you are going through litigation, this is going to be necessary because a judge is not going to allow a lawyer to produce a digital version of a document on a tablet. They'll want to see hard copies, which means that documents need to be printed and ready to go. Some divorce lawyers will charge you per document that is copied, while others will charge you a monthly copying fee to cover their expenses.
You may not realize that you will be charged for any time that your divorce lawyer needs to travel to meet up with you. These costs can really add up over time since you are paying for the lawyer's time, mileage, and even parking. Thankfully, these fees can be avoided by making phone calls or online meetings, but there will likely be some meetings in person that involve travel expenses.
Filing and Court Fees
Another unexpected cost is associated with every time you need to file a document with the court there is a fee that goes with it to process that document. This is even necessary if you are filing documents electronically, rather than turning in a paper document that needs to be processed manually. It's a couple dollars per document, but it adds up over the divorce process.
You're likely going to try to save money on the divorce by going through mediation, which will help you avoid going to a more costly trial. The mediation process has a whole set of fees associated with it though. Not only are you paying for the mediator's time, but you are paying for the use of the mediation facility as well.
When you are going through the process of totaling up the value of the assets that need to be divided, an appraisal is often done to determine what everything is worth. The appraiser acts as an expert witness, since there may be arguments about what certain items are worth.
For more information, reach out to a family law firm in your area.