How Much Does a Contested Family Law Case in Oklahoma Cost?
One of the most common questions we are asked is "how much will this cost?". The answer to that question, however, is dependent upon the specific facts of the case - a divorce where both parties are in agreement about all issues (such as child custody, visitation, child and spousal support, and property/debt division) can be completed in a very short time for a low flat fee, but one where both sides are fighting about everything can end up costing well over $50,000 or more!
There are many factors that contribute to the total cost of a contested Family Law matter; some, like court filing fees and costs of required parenting classes, can be predicted in advance. Others, like the number of hours your attorney will have to spend on your case from start to finish, out-of-pocket costs for drug testing, psychological examination fees, or having to address unexpected surprise filings by the other side, cannot be accurately predicted in advance.
In our experience, an "average" contested divorce with minor children (meaning there is not a lot of fighting between the parties about custody, visitation, or other child issues, no one files for emergency custody or makes reports to DHS about the other parent, most of the property has already been fairly divided up, and an agreed settlement is reached long before a trial is scheduled), the cost runs approximately around $4,000 to $7,000, including all fees and costs required to finalize the matter, both paid to our firm for the work we do and costs our client must pay directly to outside providers. The more you and your ex can agree upon in advance, the less it will cost to finalize your family law matter!
If one or both parties in a case are determined to fight over everything, no matter how trivial, refuse to cooperate with each other or their attorneys, won't follow directions or court orders, and do everything possible to "get back" at their ex-partner, then the costs of a contested divorce will skyrocket into the tens of thousands of dollars in an extremely short time. You cannot control some of these factors, obviously, since you will not be able to control your ex's actions or feelings, but you can help minimize YOUR costs by making rational decisions, following your attorney's advice and instructions, and putting your children's best interests ahead of your own.
OK, But How Much Are We Actually Talking About?
If you have a contested Family Law matter, we recommend planning for the "worst-case" scenario to ensure that you will have budgeted enough funds to cover everything that will be needed to reach the best outcome for you. Our standard recommendation is to have at least $20,000 budgeted for your entire matter - this does NOT mean that it will definitely cost that much, it simply ensures that you are mentally and financially prepared for whatever issues might come up in your case, including having to go to trial.
Because we realize that most people don't have a spare twenty grand just sitting around, we offer several payment plan and financing options for our clients so they can have the best legal counsel at an affordable monthly rate. We strive to complete your Oklahoma Family Law matter in the most time- and cost-efficient manner to make the most of your hard-earned dollars. Our goal is to get the best possible outcome for you at the most affordable cost. If you would like to find out more about your legal options and get a more accurate cost estimate, please contact us to schedule a consultation!
At Justice Legal Team, we have been practicing Family Law for almost thirty-five years collectively, and have handled hundreds of Family Law cases. Call today at (405) 493-9090 for more information and to learn about your legal rights and how we can help you!