If you're considering a divorce, chances are you're not exactly looking to spend thousands of dollars. In fact, many people assume the divorce process is easier than it actually is - sign a few papers, file the documents, and be done.
Unfortunately, that's not accurate, no matter what someone is trying to sell you.
The average divorce in Oklahoma costs a minimum of $9,000. A chunk of change, to be sure, but as far as national averages go, we're on the lower end of the spectrum. This isn't some arbitrary number slapped together by greedy attorneys and county courts. This average exists based on attorneys hourly fees, filing and court fees, mediation, discovery, and more.
While nine grand might sound high at first, consider the fact that most divorces take anywhere from 6 months to 18 months to be finalized. Your attorney has often worked many hours by that point.
That number can increase based on complicated property disputes, custody battles, and financial disagreements.
You might've heard the phrase, “Every divorce is uncontested until it isn't.” In other words, intentions may start out one way, but when it comes down to the wire and people's livelihoods feel at stake (whether real or perceived), parties often step into the arena.
Money, possessions, and especially children, become vitally important, and when people realize these decisions are going into legal documentation rather than simple verbal agreements, it can become heated. And often, rightfully so.
There are plenty of “cheap” divorce attorneys, online divorce services, and firms touting a great deal. But the fact is that you're gambling custody of your children, retirement accounts, and assets. A lot can be on the line when it comes to a divorce. As wonderful as it may seem that an attorney would offer a deal simply out of kindness, the hard truth is that you will get what you pay for. A firm boasting cheap divorces will give you cheap service. That can mean a lack of experience, minimal communication, improper language in documents, and so on.
It feels nice to save money on the front end, but more than likely, a “cheap” divorce will result in later costs. Paperwork may need to be revised and refiled, or additional court hearings scheduled to fix what was (or was not) put in your initial documents. Worse (and common), is that a clearer picture of custody agreements may need to be established. All of these things take time, money, and stress that could've been avoided by hiring the right attorney in the first place.
While costs will obviously be a factor, choosing an attorney should be based on experience. You want an attorney who will do their due diligence in every aspect, no matter how long the process takes. On that same note, they should be both excellent and efficient. You and your family deserve the best legal representation.
Think of it as a long game: your divorce can affect you for the rest of your life. How you choose to go about it today determines the future.
Our attorneys at Worden & Carbitcher have over two decades of combined experience in family law. We will work diligently on your behalf. We are committed to legal excellence, communication, and ensuring the best possible outcome for our clients.