How Much Does a Divorce Cost in WA?

July 31, 2020

If you’re facing a divorce, you’re facing a difficult transition that will have a significant effect on you and your children’s future finances. The consequences of your divorce are obviously far too important not to proceed with the professional legal counsel of an experienced Seattle divorce attorney on your side. When your finances seem to hang in the balance, it can make paying for an attorney feel outside of your reach, but this does not have to be the case.

The Basics

The outcome of your divorce will affect your life in critical ways, and the fact is that your finances are very likely to take a hit. Further, because divorce is such a harrowing process, many people going through it are motivated to do so as quickly as possible – regardless of what terms they have to accept in order to do so. Having a dedicated divorce attorney on your side with whom you are comfortable communicating your divorce goals is the best way to help ensure that your financial and parental rights are protected throughout the divorce process and that you don’t walk away with less than is rightfully yours simply because you’re too overwhelmed to proceed. In other words, your investment in your attorney is an investment in your future, but it’s also important to remember that there are steps you can take to help minimize your legal expenses.

Your Divorce

The path your divorce follows will dictate how costly it will be. Typically, the higher the assets and/or the more complicated the divorce, the more costly the process. Complications can include business ownership, messy custody battles, and much more. If you and your divorcing spouse are both committed to banging out divorce terms amicably (even if there is considerable distance between your current stances on the issues), you will very likely minimize your legal costs. If your divorce is contentious right out of the gate, however, you’re almost certainly facing increased legal costs. Even in such circumstances, however, choosing not to respond to each of your spouse’s attempts to rattle you can help ensure that you don’t pour money into arguments that are designed to hurt and/or agitate you rather than to move the divorce forward. Your divorce attorney will help you obtain a firmer grasp on which battles are worth fighting and which you can ignore.

Your Costs

Filing for a divorce in WA will set you back about $300 – with some other incidental costs that may or may not apply. From here, you’ll need to hammer out mutually acceptable terms related to all of the following divorce issues that apply to your case:

  • The division of your community property (also known as marital property)
  • Your child custody arrangements (called conservatorship in WA)
  • Child support
  • Spousal maintenance (also known as alimony)

If you and your divorcing spouse are on the same page regarding any of these issues, you’re ahead of the game and won’t need to incur any legal expense in your negotiation efforts (for those terms). The more elusive issues, however, will need to be resolved in one of the following ways (listed in ascending order of legal expense):

  • Having your respective divorce attorneys negotiate terms on your behalf
  • Proceeding to mediation where a professional mediator (a neutral third-party) will help you explore your options
  • Proceeding to court with all those issues that you’re unable to resolve via less intrusive means

Your Takeaway

Every divorce follows its own path, and even divorces that begin quite amicably can veer off into contentious territory. As such, it’s impossible to know from the outset how much your divorce is likely to cost. If your divorcing spouse wants to make things difficult, he or she can do that. Working closely with an experienced divorce attorney will help ensure that you understand exactly what is at stake and how best to protect both your financial future and your parental rights.

Discuss Your Cost Concerns with an Experienced Bellevue Divorce Attorney

The dedicated divorce attorneys at Citadel Family Law in Bellevue understand that you may have serious concerns about the cost of your divorce. As such, they are committed to helping you balance your rights, your divorce terms, and your legal costs in a manner that supports you and your children’s best interests. Your case matters, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 206-790-6430 today.

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