We are here again…it’s the big “D” word, and the phone lines are ringing. Potential clients are calling regarding custody, child support, visitation, etc. However, the number one question is, “How much does it cost to get a divorce?”
The answer to this question could be given in several different versions. The first answer that comes to mind is that each case is handled differently. It is difficult to put an exact price on your divorce before an attorney consults with you. This is due to possible issues that may have to be brought before the court such as, custody, visitation, division of property, discovery, etc. In a lot of firms, a retainer is required to start a divorce case. However, that amount will most likely be discussed during your initial consultation. Once you and the attorney decide the best avenue of approach for your case, the divorce process will start.
If you are the spouse initiating the divorce your attorney will draft up the complaint based on your reasons for wanting a divorce and file with the court clerk’s office in the county that holds jurisdiction. The clerk’s office will charge your attorney a fee to have this document filed. As a result and in most cases, your attorney must charge you. You may be thinking, “The filing fee should come out of my retainer”. However, you will learn during the consultation the retainer is for the actual work that the attorney performs on your case, such as the actual drafting of the complaint itself. The amount of the filing fee may vary from county to county. For example, in Pulaski County, Arkansas, the filing fee is $185.00. However, in Dallas County, Arkansas, it is $165.00. Once your complaint for divorce is filed, it will be time to serve your spouse the documents. Normally, this service is completed by a process server.
A process server is a privately owned company, and their fee for service will vary. It may range from $50.00 to $100.00. It will depend on variables such as time, distance, location, etc. This is also a fee that is charged to your attorney, which means that you will likely see it on your monthly bill. Remember the “fees” that we are discussing are not part of your retainer. This will be what separates the expenses of your case from the professional services that are performed by the attorney.
In the next version, the answer to this question is that yes a divorce of any kind will cost money, but it will also cost emotional pain and in some cases, it will cost family dissolution. As harsh as this may sound, it is not the end of the road, just a left turn in the journey called life. In most states, but more specifically in the State of Arkansas, when children are involved and either spouse files for divorce, both parties may be required to attend transparenting classes. The purpose of the classes is to teach effective parenting during the times of divorce and also in separation.
There are different ways to look at divorce, for some it is an emotional train wreck and for others, it is a new beginning, but in every case, there is guaranteed some version of cost. How much cost can only be determined by your issues before the court, the services of the attorney, expenses of your case, and most importantly YOU. However, you are never in it alone. There are counselors and many other resources available around the globe to assist you during this time of transition.
If you decide to petition the court regarding a divorce proceeding, it will be beneficial to seek legal counsel from an experienced Arkansas family law attorney who understands how the divorce would affect your family.
Tripcony May provides services in divorce, contract, prenuptial agreements, child custody, visitation, grandparent rights, and other family law matters throughout the State of Arkansas. They currently have two locations in Little Rock and Hot Springs, Arkansas. Please contact one of their offices for a free consultation at (501) 296-9999, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may also view www.tripconylawfirm.com for additional information.
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