A good divorce lawyer doesn't come cheap, but proper legal representation is crucial to obtaining a favorable divorce in Pasadena. Taking a do-it-yourself approach or simply picking the cheapest lawyer you can find without considering his or her level of experience can end up costing you money for many years to come. A lawyer with years of experience as a divorce attorney can command several hundred dollars per hour, but can save you money by making sure you retain a fair portion of your marital assets. A new law school grad is unlikely to know all the strategies that can be used to advocate on your behalf.
In a divorce, both spouses need separate legal representation. They can't be represented by the same lawyer because their needs will oppose each other when it comes to issues such as the division of assets and custody of children from the marriage. Hiring separate lawyers is not a problem if both spouses work and have similar incomes. If one spouse does not work or makes a significantly smaller income, however, it's possible that the higher earning spouse will be expected to pay for legal fees.
It's impossible to say how much a divorce will cost because every couple is different. Divorce is not expensive if you have few assets and no children. If you're dividing up a business and negotiating over child support, however, you can expect to have a much more expensive divorce. The more issues that need to be decided, the higher the odds will be that you'll need legal assistance.
Divorce lawyers often require a retainer in addition to their standard fees. Make sure you ask about all of this when you are interviewing prospective lawyers. Divorce lawyers know that people are often concerned about the cost of ending their marriages. An experienced divorce lawyer will not be offended by your payment inquiries.
If you're very concerned about the cost of divorce, remember that mediation tends to be a cheaper alternative to getting a fair and equitable divorce settlement. Many Pasadena divorce lawyers describe themselves as mediation-friendly. If you want to go this route, ask about your divorce lawyer's experience with mediation during your initial consultation.