Many prospective clients ask us: How much is a divorce in Pennsylvania? In truth, no one can provide a definitive answer at the beginning of the divorce process. The cost of divorce in PA is different in every case, and it depends on several factors. For more information, we welcome you to call our firm at (215) 523-6900. An attorney can answer your questions and discuss your options.
Ways to Reduce the Cost of Divorce in PA
The primary factor that affects the cost of a Pennsylvania divorce is whether both spouses consent to the divorce. Contested divorces often come with more arguments between the spouses. They often result in more time, attorney involvement, court appearances, and money to resolve the issues on the table. Settling as many matters as possible outside of court helps keep divorce costs lower.
In many cases, divorcing spouses each need to hire an attorney to help them get through the process. In many cases, those attorneys’ roles are indispensable. They keep the process moving smoothly and efficiently, help avoid unnecessary hearings, and ensure a fair divide of marital property. For some divorcing spouses, however, the assistance of attorneys may not be necessary at all, which can substantially lower the expense.
Filing a mutual consent divorce in Pennsylvania is the least expensive option. It often costs just a fraction of what other divorce approaches would cost. Or, amicable parties might choose an alternative form of resolution, such as mediation. In those situations, a mediator can help the spouses divide their assets and debts, develop custody and support arrangements, and more – all without the need for an attorney. Of course, mediation is only an option for couples who can navigate the divorce process in good faith with one another.
Who Pays Attorney Fees in a Divorce?
One of the primary expenses of divorce is often the cost of retaining legal representation. In Pennsylvania, the court has the power to order one spouse to pay for the other’s attorney fees.
The judge will consider a few factors when making this decision, including the extent of the fees, each spouse’s ability to pay, and whether each spouse is acting in good faith during the divorce process. If one spouse’s actions directly led to the need to hire a lawyer or extend the legal proceedings, the judge may order the spouse who acted in bad faith to pay the other’s attorney fees. The court will also consider any additional factors that may help determine who should cover the cost of the attorneys in each specific case.
The Investment of a High-Quality Lawyer
Most attorneys bill at an hourly rate. When a divorce is contentious, attorneys could spend many hours on the case, and the cost will add up. However, the potential price tag should not motivate divorcing spouses to hire the cheapest lawyers possible to cut expenses. An experienced attorney is an investment that could potentially save a substantial amount of money in the long run.
Why? A less experienced lawyer might save money on fees, but that choice could also result in a lot of wasted time. High-quality divorce lawyers act efficiently to resolve a divorce as successfully as possible. Errors and oversights result when a lawyer fails to spend the time needed to pursue every detail. Missing important facts could cause one party to lose some assets that are rightfully theirs – not to mention lengthening the amount of time it takes to move through the process. Getting an experienced PA divorce lawyer to navigate the process could make all the difference in the overall experience and results.
Feel free to call our Pennsylvania divorce lawyers without obligation. We can give you the facts you need to make informed decisions as you move forward.