Experienced divorce attorneys can ensure that the agreements you sign are in your best interests, you don’t miss anything important when negotiating, and the paperwork is all in order before it is submitted to the court.
They can assist in a collaborative process with your spouse’s lawyer, mediating between you and your spouse, or in litigation if it ends up in the Nebraska courts.
This assistance can be a big relief at such a stressful time – but how much does a divorce attorney cost in Nebraska?
That depends greatly on how amicable your separation from your ex will be. Firstly, is your divorce contested or uncontested?
Contested divorce costs
A contested divorce is where one or both spouses don’t agree on one or more issues. Usually, this is a major issue such as child custody, alimony, child support, value of a business interest, or property division.
This type of divorce can increase both the costs and the time taken for it to be granted. In many cases, contested divorces are more stressful, especially if there are children from the marriage who must witness their parents in a heated dispute.
In some cases, professional assessors may need to be hired to value assets, value business interests, and decide what is best for the children. More time in court, higher court costs, and higher attorney fees are just a few of the other consequences when issues are contested.
According to a 2019 divorce survey conducted by Martindale-Nolo Research, the average divorce in the US costs around $15,500. From this total, $12,800 is attorney fees.
While average costs need to be treated with caution, the figures are useful in providing an idea of the proportion of attorney fees included in the total costs.
The average cost includes divorces that take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle as well as uncontested divorces that cost a couple thousand dollars.
If your divorce is contested, you will pay more than with an uncontested divorce but it needn’t be as high as $15,500 if you and your spouse can settle before you case ends up at trial.
Some attorneys may charge you a flat fee rate while others charge hourly. Be clear on this from the start and there will be no nasty surprises later.
If the attorney charges hourly, try to get an indication not only of the hourly rate (anywhere from $100 to $650 an hour but averaging out at $250-$350 an hour) but also of the amount of work involved.
If many issues cannot be resolved by mediation and end up at trial, costs start to rise significantly. Be mindful of the charges you will incur by communicating too frequently with your attorney. Tip: It is best to condense concerns about issues in your case into one meeting instead of sending several emails or calling multiple times.
Bear in mind that the better the attorney you hire, the more your interests will be protected and the less time you will spend in court. So, you should win both ways – with a better settlement and lower court costs in the long run.
Uncontested divorce costs
In uncontested divorces, both spouses agree on the divorce and all the associated issues – both financial and those involving children, if applicable.
Most uncontested divorces require agreement on property division, debt payment, support payments, child custody, visitation rights, and so on.
The simpler the matters are, the more likely the divorce can proceed as uncontested. However, even if you and your spouse part on amicable terms, disputes can arise. If you cannot agree on any outstanding issues, the divorce must proceed with the delays and costs associated with a contested divorce.
In uncontested divorces, most or all of the negotiations may be out of the way before a lawyer is required. The attorney will simply prepare the paperwork, which you both sign before it is submitted to the court.
Your attorney may also help by flagging any issues that have been overlooked in negotiations – for instance, retirement account and/or pension division, which is sometimes forgotten when couples consider their financial positions.
Overall, you can expect the costs of an uncontested divorce to be much lower than a contested divorce – especially if there are no children – and you will usually be charged a flat fee by your attorney.
Couples in Nebraska can even complete their divorce for under $2,000 in some cases.
Need help filing for divorce?
Many couples in Nebraska find that hiring a divorce attorney can help avoid delays and disputes.
Contact the experienced divorce attorneys at Nebraska Legal Group for a free case evaluation if you need help filing for divorce in Nebraska.