An average divorce can cost between $25,000 and $100,000 (or more), and that’s just for the attorneys’ fees! This estimate doesn’t take into account living expenses, coaches / counselors / therapists, financial advisors, and lost work time. And that’s just the financial costs. Contested divorces often have a high emotional cost for everyone involved, especially children.
Collaborative divorces at Ogborne Law start at $10,000, which includes working with an attorney, mediator, a communication counselor, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®.
The length of a divorce is dependent on many factors, primarily the type of divorce you and your spouse choose to pursue. For a simple divorce, the decisions can be made in a matter of hours with just the waiting period for the court to approve paperwork. At the other end of the scale, litigation-based divorces can last months and even years.
In the collaborative divorce process, you as a couple have a team to help you through this life change. That team consists of your individual attorneys, professional counselors, financial advisors who are trained in divorce (a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®), and an experienced mediator. Everyone is working together—or collaborating—on the topics of assets and your children to create the best outcome for your family. As a team, you’ll work through your concerns as a family, a couple, and as individuals, and you’ll come to conclusions together.
When it comes to ending a relationship, you have three options: mediation, divorce, or collaboration. Mediation is the fastest and best for couples with few assets and no children; litigation is court based and often contentious; collaboration combines the best aspects of mediation and litigation to support couples and families through the process.
Mediation is the fastest and least expensive approach to divorce. Through your work with a mediator, you and your spouse will be able to figure out the details of your separation and file all of your legal paperwork. You will avoid the courtroom through mediation, as the goal is more about developing a workable solution for both parties than creating tension and strife. Mediation is the cornerstone of collaborative divorce because it serves as the process through which conflicts are addressed and the divorcing couple can come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement.
Litigation is the process of going to court to complete a divorce. This is the type of divorce you have seen on court and drama television programs or read about in tabloids. Litigation-based divorces are contentious, slow, and often very expensive. You and your spouse stand on separate sides of the aisle, each with your own legal team, and the only way you speak to each other is through attorneys and proposals, which can take months. Litigation divorces are a last resort for couples that feel there is no way to work together or, in some cases, when the relationship is abusive.
A divorce is a complete dissolution of the marriage. A legal separation involves submitting paperwork to the courts in regards to assets and children but does not dissolve the marriage. The process for both is similar, and some couples choose to legally separate first while others move directly to divorce proceedings.
Parenting time is the actual physical time you spend being a parent to your children. This can include time doing activities or staying home, and it can lasts for a few hours or many days.
Parenting logistics, or a parenting-time plan, is what parents develop to determine who will have the children at what times. There are a variety of options when it comes to parenting logistics, and the right option will depend on your family’s needs and the ages of your children.
Divorces can be tricky, emotional times, so it is best to take the high road and focus on the positives, which usually involve your children. During divorce proceedings, you should avoid taking on new debt, emptying bank accounts, getting pregnant, or making large purchases. For more information, review our article highlighting the things to avoid.
Estate Planning FAQs
Estate planning costs vary widely depending on your family’s individual needs. We have estate plan packages that range from $1,500 to $3,500; each one is tailored to a specific scenario. When focusing on estate planning, remember that the most expensive plan is the one you should have gotten but didn’t.
During the initial session, you will provide answers to a number of questions, which will be the basis of the estate plan. Once that is drafted, you will return to the office to sign and review the paperwork before we implement the plan. Depending on the complexity of your estate situation, completing your estate planning meetings and documents can take anywhere from one week to as many as four weeks.
At Ogborne Law, we follow a basic four-step process. The first step is to assess your unique situation, including a review of your assets and a comprehensive review of your family dynamics.
After the initial discovery step, we create a plan that takes into account your goals and family needs. Next, we will sit with you and review that plan before we put it into place. The purpose of this is to ensure you understand all of the provisions in place and address any changes before executing the final documents. Once the review meeting is completed, all of the necessary documents are drafted and signed to complete the process.
We will meet with you annually to make any updates as your needs change.
If you and your children’s other parent were to die, you need to have a plan in place to care for your minor children. In your estate plan, you can designate a legal guardian who will care for your children. If you fail to choose a guardian, the courts will decide who is the best person to raise and care for your children.
Estate plans can be very simple or very complex depending on your assets and family structure. The components of your estate plan include a will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a health information release, a declaration of guardian (if you have minor children), and a living will. Every adult should have these components in place, regardless of income level, to ensure that your wishes are followed through when you die.
A living will is also called a directive to physicians, and it details your desires regarding your medical care should you become unable to do so yourself. This is a vital component of an estate plan because you can define how you want to live or die as opposed to someone else making arbitrary decisions on your behalf.
Once a child reaches the age of maturity (18), a legal guardian is no longer needed. However, their welfare continues to be a concern for parents in creating a long-term estate plan. A revocable living trust allows you to choose how assets are distributed to children, safeguarding them from creditors or future ex-spouses. An incentive trust is another option, one that only distributes assets when children reach certain milestones, such as graduating college. Ogborne Law will review your unique situation and make recommendations to address your concerns.