Traditional courtroom litigation is expensive and time-consuming. It is not unusual for a divorce case to take years to resolve and cost the parties tens of thousands of dollars…each. Unfortunately, you will not fully know how much the cost of representation in Minnesota is until your case has concluded.
Family law attorneys in Minnesota charge by the hour and require a retainer (typically a few thousand dollars) before they will begin working on your case. This means that every email, letter, and phone call quickly add up. It is not unusual for some Minnesota divorce attorneys, especially ones that have been practicing for many years, to charge $300 per hour to represent clients. Should you have a hearing scheduled in your case, and the courthouse is thirty minutes from your attorney’s office, you’ll spend $300 just on your attorney’s travel time.
Another factor that may unexpectedly cause your legal bills to skyrocket is if your spouse suddenly decides not to budge on an issue. For example, perhaps you inherited a property from a grandparent during the marriage, and your spouse suddenly begins arguing that he should be entitled to a portion of its value. Your attorney may have to spend hours drafting letters, performing research, and speaking with your spouse’s attorney on the phone to resolve this issue. The stubbornness of one spouse can cost the other spouse thousands of dollars.
Finally, if your case reaches trial, preparation will cost several thousand dollars. Your attorney will have to make copies of hundreds of documents, interview witnesses, attempt to negotiate with opposing counsel, and organize all items needed for trial. The trial itself may take several hours, or even a few days. Every hour of your attorney’s representation will add to your bill. If your attorney spends 20 hours preparing for and conducting your trial, it may cost $6,000.
Mediation offers a more efficient process with fewer legal hoops to jump through – saving time and your hard earned money.