The cost of a divorce is mostly made up of attorney fees. These can vary in considerable proportions.
The lawyers’ fees
First of all, the remuneration of a lawyer consists of two elements:
Fees, fees and disbursements
The amounts of emoluments, fees and disbursements are not determined freely by the lawyer. They are set in a statutory manner and are due when the lawyer intervenes in court to represent his client and this intervention is mandatory.
Typically, in the case of a divorce: the presence of the lawyer at the time of the conciliation hearing.
The fees are fixed freely by the lawyer. Pricing can be fixed or hourly. In terms of divorce, the rate is usually hourly: the lawyer is paid by the hour.
Except for amicable divorce, where packages can be offered to customers.
If the lawyer charges for an hourly rate, this hourly rate must be set jointly by the lawyer and his client through a fee agreement. This agreement may take into account the personal resources of the client.
If the client is not willing to accept the defined hourly rate, the lawyer may refuse to process his file. The client will then have to look for new lawyer.
Good to know: Since January 1, 2013, lawyers are required to sign a fee agreement with their clients for divorce cases.
Fees = Hourly rate x number of hours spent by the lawyer on the file
The hourly rate varies depending on the reputation of the lawyer and the complexity of the case. The number of hours varies mainly according to the complexity of the file.
If spouses who want to divorce are in conflict and can not agree, the file can drag on and result for the spouses to pay a very important fees.
For information, fees essentially pay for the following services:
The appointments (at the office or telephone) between the lawyer and his client
The lawyer’s study of his client’s file
Writing by the lawyer of deeds and writings (divorce petition, divorce agreement, etc.)
Note: In a divorce by mutual consent or in the case of a joint divorce petition, both spouses may choose to take the same lawyer. This allows to share the charge of fees between the two spouses.
Average cost of a lawyer to divorce
Average cost of attorney’s fees in a mutual consent divorce proceeding:
Between 300 and 600 euros per spouse in case of common lawyer
Between 1,000 and 1,600 euros per spouse if each spouse has his own lawyer
Average cost of legal fees in the context of a contentious divorce procedure: between € 2,500 and € 3,500 per spouse (each spouse is, in this case, obliged to have his own lawyer).
In general, a fault-based divorce costs more than a divorce for altering the marital bond, which itself costs more than a divorce on acceptance of the principle of marriage breakdown, which itself costs more than expensive divorce by mutual consent.