A divorce is the dissolution of marriage. When applicable, divorce law also divides property, establishes alimony, establishes child custody and child support, and resolves all matters between the couple.  If you are considering a divorce from a significant other, you first need to figure out if the divorce will be contested (fought over) or not.

Uncontested Divorces:

Uncontested divorces are less expensive than contested divorces.  These divorces can happen when the parties can agree to everything involved in the divorce.  They are less expensive because they do not require an attorney to use many hours of time strategizing, arguing, consulting, conducting discovery (i.e. depositions), and adding costs associated with the discovery and court processes.  Uncontested divorces are usually “flat rate” cases, meaning the agreement you sign with your attorney is for a one-time payment to handle the uncontested divorce.

In summation, if both parties can agree to everything, not only will the divorce be more cost effective, but you could potentially receive a final divorce decree between 31-40 days from the date of filing when you are represented by one of our attorneys.

Contested Divorces:

Contested divorces are the more expensive option when seeking a divorce.  A contested divorce occurs when the two parties cannot agree on everything surrounding the divorce. Attorneys cannot provide an accurate cost estimate of a contested divorce up front because many factors contribute to the legal costs and fees associated with a divorce case that are outside of you or your attorney’s control and sometimes arise unexpectedly.

For example, the litigation plan may call for more depositions and discovery than normal.  Some parties may need to hire private investigators and/or forensic accountants to help look for hidden assets to ensure full disclosure and division of assets.  Sometimes custody disputes rise to such a level that both parties feel the need to bring in additional experts to help their case.  The reasons go on and on.  Contested divorces are generally charged on an hourly fee retainer agreement with your attorney, and any divorce attorney should be familiar with the typical costs associated with a contested divorce to give you a quote after a consultation.


It is imperative to feel comfortable with the attorney that you ultimately choose, because divorces often involve sensitive matters, whether they are regarding family finances, children, or intimate relations. Thus, you must be comfortable sharing intimate information with your attorney. Being completely open and honest with your attorney is important, because your attorney may only achieve the best results for you if he or she is made fully aware of all of the facts concerning your case. If you fail to disclose something to your attorney, it may decrease your attorney’s effectiveness, lead them to provide bad advice and ultimately harm your case.  If you are thinking divorce might be the option for you, or if you have already been served divorce papers from your spouse, contact any of our 4 office locations for a free initial consultation, and let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.