How much does a divorce lawyer actually cost?

Dear Liz,
How much does a divorce lawyer cost and how do I pay for a divorce if I don’t have the money right now?
– Broke As A Joke

Dear Broke As A Joke,

I’ve never been divorced myself so I don’t know the answer to this question, but I imagine that it is not cheap! It probably depends on about a zillion different factors – see how unhelpful I am right now? Since I’m no divorce expert, I’m going to hand this one over to my pal Amy who has the lowdown on cost.

Here is what Amy had to say:

Most family lawyers charge for their time at an hourly rate. The typical range in Bangor is $180 to $300 per hour. It is common for lawyers to request a retainer or a deposit at the outset of the case based on what they feel might be the minimum amount to get one through mediation.

However, many divorces are not settled at mediation and costs do add up.  Experienced lawyers may be able to tell you the approximate costs of various strategies. Some lawyers may request payment beyond the retainer as your case proceeds. Others may wait until the end of the case to get paid.

In certain circumstances, the court may order your spouse to pay some or all of your attorney’s fees and vice versa.  The court may do so based on each of your relative abilities to pay.   It is a fact of life that many folks retain lawyers with the use of a credit card or with borrowed funds.

Good luck!

~ Liz

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