So you decided that it’s over, it’s time to end the marriage. No matter why, no matter the trauma involved, you now must decide how to divorce. The urge to fight at all costs weighs heavily upon you. After all this person hurt you deeply. The level of pain and betrayal fills your very being. So, why consider an agreed divorce?
Contested Divorce Takes Emotional Toll
You experienced trauma and emotional turmoil during the marriage. But, a divorce battle takes a toll as well. Not only do you relive the trauma over and over as you relay information to your divorce lawyer. But also when you answer discovery questions. You also must testify perhaps in depositions and at trial. But new trauma arises during a contested divorce as well. Fear and stress over what the court might decide happens each time you enter the courtroom. Yes, you trust your divorce lawyer, but no guaranteed outcomes exist. Contested divorce takes an emotional toll, while your life hangs in the balance.
Contested Divorce Takes a Financial Toll
Compared to an agreed divorce, a contested action costs significantly more. Sometimes extremely more money. Remember attorneys work and charge based upon an hourly rate. Typically the hourly rate for a divorce lawyer ranges between $150-300 per hour. Most attorneys also charge hourly rates for a paralegal’s time. Added to the attorney’s fees, you may encounter court reporter fees, expert witness fees, guardian ad litem fees, and more. Bottom line a contested divorce takes a financial toll. In most cases the cost ranges from $7500 to tens of thousands of dollars. This does not include lost wages, daycare expenses, travel expenses and other incidental costs.
Contested Divorce Takes a Toll on Children
Any child feels the impact of divorce. Even adult children feel like they are caught in a war zone, as their parents battle each other. Minor children really feel the impact. A minor child caught in the middle of warring parents. A child who doesn’t know where he or she fits. Nor where he or she will be in the next days, weeks, months.
An Agreed Divorce Costs Less in Many Ways
The obvious benefit of an agreed divorce appears in a reduced financial burden. In some cases one lawyer prepares the divorce agreement which is ultimately presented to the Court for a quick review and approval. Even when both parties retain an attorney, an agreement reached quickly saves legal time and money. Often divorce cases reach resolution in mediation. No doubt, financial costs exist in agreed divorce, but still much less than in a contested divorce. Also, and maybe more importantly, agreed divorce greatly reduces the emotional stress, turmoil for you and your children. Agreed divorce involves a plan by both spouses to exit the marriage and resolve property and child custody issues together. Of course, the assistance of legal professionals help greatly. But, ultimately the spouses are responsible for the direction of the divorce case.
An Agreed Divorce Requires Wise Choices of Legal Counsel
By and large divorce attorneys guide their clients to carefully consider an agreed divorce option. However, carefully consider your choice of legal counsel. Some lawyers encourage a client to fight. Albeit sometimes a contested divorce is absolutely required. But, listen carefully to the advice and counsel of any prospective divorce lawyer. Consider all advice, carefully. Ultimately, ensure that your choice of legal counsel has your best interest in mind. Do not allow anyone, including family or friends, to drag you into a divorce battle unless it is the absolute best or only option.