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If you are contemplating filing for divorce, you probably have many questions that you’d like to have answered by an attorney. Your initial consultation with a lawyer is your opportunity to ask these questions and to receive an honest appraisal of your individual case and what you might expect.

Even though doing research for how much a divorce might cost will vary tremendously based on the specifics of your case and whether or not you and the other party are able to agree to terms of your own, some research has shown what divorce can cost in general. Many lawyers will work on an hourly basis, meaning that you’ll need to pay a retainer upfront.

As your attorney completes tasks and projects associated with your divorce, they will draw from the retainer and then ask you for additional funds when the retainer has been depleted. Other attorneys who have a better understanding of the relative simplicity or complexity of your case might ask for a flat fee.

It’s a good idea to know the pricing structure of the attorney you intend to work with, no matter what. According to recent research, nearly 46% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. That is a decrease from 49% a decade ago. Divorce is one of the most stressful events you can go through in your life and additional stress may be associated with the financial implications on top of the emotional challenges.

A recent study shows that the typical divorce costs $15,500. The most common hourly rate linked to divorce attorneys is $250, meaning that most of the cost associated with getting a divorce are linked to legal fees.

Speaking with an attorney at the outset of your case can give you a better idea of how your circumstances might translate into divorce costs. Divorce costs can increase, for example, if you and the other party are unable to come to terms of agreement on any issues like division of property, child custody, child support and alimony.

Divorces often tend to be much more expensive when children are involved as well. Schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer to talk through your case.