One of the first questions our clients ask us is how much their divorce is going to cost. While we would love to say that divorces are inexpensive in Charlotte, that simply isn’t the truth. It is true that you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to hiring a Charlotte divorce lawyer.
There are divorce attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who promise to file your divorce for a few hundred dollars. However, if they are charging so little, how much time can they possibly devote to your case? Plus, once you retain these attorneys, they usually tell you it’s going to cost a lot more than they promised. They’ll tell you it only costs a few hundred dollars to file your divorce case but that it will cost thousands more to complete it.
Rather than have this happen to you, it’s a good idea to do your homework. Never hire a Charlotte divorce lawyer before you do your research. Read the reviews on the attorney’s website. Call and see how their staff treats you when you schedule your initial consultation. You want one of the best Charlotte family lawyers to handle your case. This is especially true if you have a lot of assets or expect a nasty custody dispute.
You don’t want to be treated as a number. So many law firms in Charlotte run their business like a factory. They’re worried about how many divorces they can process. They don’t care how their clients feel or what sort of outcome they achieve for their clients. Don’t take this risk. There’s too much at stake to pick a random Charlotte divorce lawyer from the internet just because they don’t charge as much as their competitors.
Every Divorce Case Is Unique
It’s hard to tell clients how much their divorce is going to cost upfront. Every case is different, taking turns and detours. Some cases are relatively easy to resolve. If you and your spouse didn’t have many joint assets, or have no children, it’s a lot easier to get your divorce finalized. If, however, you have a lot of debts and assets, or expect a custody dispute, things can take much longer.
When you first decide to proceed with your divorce, your Charlotte divorce lawyer will ask you to explain what led to the divorce. They need to ask a lot of questions, specifically addressing the following:
- How long you’ve been married
- Whether you have children and, if so, their names and dates of birth
- Income information for both you and your spouse
- A list of any assets you own together
- A list of any debts you share
- Whether there was a prenuptial agreement
- What retirement and investments you and your spouse own
Based on this information, your Charlotte divorce lawyer will get a better idea of what you’re up against. For example, if you have a lot of investments and shared assets, it can take a lot of negotiating to hammer out a divorce agreement. The same is true if you’ve been married for a long time. Shorter marriages are usually a lot easier to handle. The longer you’ve been married, the more history you and your spouse share. These cases typically take longer and cost a lot more than other divorce proceedings.
When you first meet with your Charlotte divorce lawyer, they’ll get an idea of what your divorce may entail. While they may be able to give you an estimate of what your divorce will cost, they likely won’t be able to give you a precise amount.
A Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Usually Charges an Hourly Rate
Many of the best Charlotte family lawyers charge their clients an hourly rate. This is very common in family law cases. Since there’s no way to know exactly how much work will be involved in your case, it wouldn’t be fair to give a client an exact figure of how much it will cost. This is why so many divorce lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina choose to charge an hourly rate.
When you first meet with your Charlotte divorce lawyer, they’ll ask you to pay a retainer. Usually, family lawyers will ask for a retainer that covers at least the first 10 hours of work. Even the easiest of divorces take more than 10 hours to complete. Once your retainer is exhausted, your Charlotte divorce lawyer will ask for a second retainer. If your case is moving along quickly, they may give you the option of receiving monthly invoices that you can pay as you go along.
Do Some Divorce Lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina, Charge a Flat Rate?
As mentioned earlier, there are some divorce lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina who advertise that they charge a flat rate for your divorce. Make sure you’re really careful about hiring an attorney who does this. Sometimes, they are not upfront about how much it will really cost.
For example, they may advertise that they can file your divorce for just a couple of hundred dollars. Then, once your complaint for divorce is filed, they tell you they’ll need another payment of thousands of dollars to see your case through to the end. You never want to fall for this kind of scheme. You’re much better off if you hire one of the best Charlotte family lawyers instead.
Call Our Office and Schedule Your First Meeting
If you’re looking to file for divorce, you’re going to want the best Charlotte family lawyer you can find. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience handling cases similar to yours. It doesn’t matter if your divorce is amicable or not.
A Charlotte divorce lawyer has what it takes to get you the best possible outcome. Of course, nobody wants to pay thousands of dollars for their divorce lawyer. But you also don’t want to sell yourself short by hiring a fly-by-night attorney simply because they don’t cost as much as some other attorneys.
Getting divorced can be a painful and expensive process. The last thing you want to do is hire a Charlotte divorce lawyer who is going to treat you like a number. You want a lawyer who knows your case inside and out. They should dedicate the time it takes to make sure your rights are protected – both as a spouse and as a parent.
We recommend you call our office and schedule your initial consultation so we can find out your side of the story. Once we know what your case entails, we’ll be able to give you a better idea of what your divorce may cost.