Divorce & Family Litigation
The cost of a divorce matter is highly variable. If a divorce matter proceeds through trial, it can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000, and post-trial motions can drive the cost even higher. Thankfully, over 90% of divorce and family matters settle before trial. The cost of a divorce is generally up to the parties and how quickly (if at all) they can come to an agreement. Because of the unpredictable nature of divorce litigation, it is impossible to estimate the total amount of time that will be spent on any given case.
At Fenza Legal Service, all reasonable efforts will be made to keep costs down and time will only be spent on tasks necessary to the litigation. Services are billed at $290 per hour. For a typical family matter, a retainer of $3,000 is required, though a higher retainer may be necessary for especially complicated matters.
The following services will be provided for a flat fee:
Uncontested, No-Issues Divorce: $1,500. When the parties have no issues to litigate, Fenza Legal Services charges a flat fee for legal services. This includes the drafting and filing of a divorce complaint, having the complaint served, moving for default (if there is no answer), and one court appearance, as well as legal advice throughout the process. The client will be responsible for all court fees, the cost of serving the complaint, and any other costs associated with the matter. If any issues are raised by any party which require litigation, the legal services contract then shifts to an hourly rate of $230 per hour.
To get an idea of what court fees will be, here is the fee schedule for the New Jersey Courts and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
Typically service is made by the Sheriff in the county where the defendant resides. Sheriff fees for service are usually available online by looking up the relevant county Sheriff’s office.
Mediation Review: $600. If you and your spouse have gone through divorce mediation or other out of court settlement process, you will need an attorney to review your memorandum of understanding or settlement agreement and provide you with legal advice. This service includes a thorough review of your agreement and advice regarding your legal rights and obligations in divorce. This service can be bundled with the uncontested no-issues divorce service for a total cost of $2,000, a $100 savings
Marriage Planning Agreement: $1,000. The best way for engaged couples to make sure they understand and are in control of their legal rights and responsibilities before getting married is to sign a marriage planning agreement. This service includes an initial meeting to discuss the terms of the agreement (in person, over the phone, or on video chat), the drafting of the agreement, one followup meeting to discuss the terms of the agreement, and the signing session. If additional meetings are required, additional fees will be incurred.