The total fees and costs associated with a divorce in Minnesota can vary widely. Most reputable divorce attorneys charge hourly for their services. It logically follows that the longer the case, the more time the divorce lawyer must dedicate to the file – resulting in higher costs.
Still, we can offer guidance:
Divorce cases tend to fall into one of three categories: (1) uncontested; (2) resolved early through mediation; and (3) litigated. Because the time dedicated to each differs significantly, overall costs do as well.
In terms of an uncontested divorce, fees and costs often total less than $3,500.000. An uncontested case involves parties who, by in large, agree on the issues from the start. Parents may stipulate to custody, parenting time and child support. Couples often agree on how to divide their assets and whether an award of spousal maintenance is appropriate.
Our primary role in that instance involves assembling all of the pleadings necessary to bring matters to conclusion with little delay and minimal cost. About 50% of the cases we handle are resolved relatively early.
If matters are contested, all is not lost. We often retain the services of a knowledgable divorce mediator to help facilitate discussion surrounding the issues in controversy. Mediation sessions typically last three to four hours. Usually matters are concluded in one or two sessions.
The keys to successful mediation include: (1) hiring the right mediator; (2) adequately preparing for sessions; and (3) negotiating with a strategic outcome in mind. Cases that resolve through mediation typically cost between $6,000.00 and $8,000.00 from beginning to end. We resolve more than 75% of the cases requiring mediation through that process. While it can be a bit expensive, it is far less numbing than the costs involved with litigation.
Our hope is that litigation will not be needed in your case. However, if the parties are unable to see eye to eye following mediation we have no choice but to prepare for a trial to the court. We view trial as a last resort, not the first option. Still, we have tried cases all over Minnesota and are prepared to aggressively fight for you in the courtroom.
Much like a doctor who starts with the idea of cutting you open, it is best to avoid lawyers who see every case as a matter destined for trial. Why?
First, most cases don’t need a trial. They need creative thinkers who are willing to explore options aimed at resolving matters.
Second, and more practically, trials and litigation can get expensive very quickly. It is not unusual for a each side to spend $25,000.00, or more, to litigate a divorce – with no guarantees. Fortunately, less than 10% of the cases we handle involve prolonged litigation.
What is the average cost of a divorce in MN? It truly depends.