Joint Petition for Divorce starting at $1,500…
A joint petition for divorce is how you obtain a divorce if you and your spouse are in agreement as to all the terms of divorce. This means you agree on who gets what, who pays what, and if you have children, what your custody schedule is going to be. It’s a contract between you and your spouse and contains all the terms you both have to live by. It is best to have an attorney who is familiar with the territory to prepare this contract for you. You would probably be surprised at how affordable it is, and it can save you money in the future by doing it right the first time around. Trying to correct problems in the future generally costs three times as much as doing it right the first time.
For example, did you know that if you do not include how a debt is to be divided, but just write in an agreement that it is to be “split” that you will have to file a motion, and likely have a hearing just to clarify how, when, etc., if the other person does not pay their portion? The general timeline from when you file a motion until when you have a hearing is 4-6 months. If it is a $10,000 debt you are talking about, it could cost you at least one-fourth of the amount of the debt to hire an attorney to litigate the issue and until you get a decision, you still are paying interest and the minimum payments on the debt. Those are costs you are not likely to recoup because the judge usually tells you that you should have done it correctly the first time. Yikes! You could have paid $1,500.00 for the Joint Petition and it would have paid for itself because all of the details would have been spelled out to start with. Think about the magnitude of this benefit if you are dealing with separating a home or retirement accounts that can be vastly more complicated and where the sums of money at stake are far greater.
I can tell you what would be customary and reasonable given your circumstances, or maybe you and your spouse have already hammered out the details. Either way, I can make sure the paperwork is done in the best possible way so that the chances that you have to go back to court to clarify terms are slim to none, and so that your agreement is enforceable.
Sometimes people use the court forms that are provided and that might get the job done if you have nothing to divide and agree on a basic custody schedule. Given the hundreds of times I’ve had people hire me to correct mistakes they have made by doing their own paperwork, however, I know it is often not the best choice. As a layperson, you just don’t know all the basic terms that should be included, but I do. This makes your life easier down the road and is well worth the minimal cost.
Sometimes people use a paralegal service to prepare the paperwork and this also might be ok, but again, some of the most basic things that are pertinent to your situation could be left out because paralegals are not attorneys and they cannot give you legal advice about the best way to word a contract or the best way to make it enforceable to protect yourself from your spouse not following through with the agreement in the future. One of the worse things that happens very often is that these services file the paperwork in some far-flung county (not where you live) because they think it will be approved easier than in a more sophisticated high-population county (where we have more judges dedicated to only family law) but then you end up having to go to that county in the future to modify or enforce anything. Try living in Reno and having to drive to Winnemucca or Tonopah just to review and modify your child support. Do not let your paperwork get filed anywhere other than the county in which you live. It is very difficult to change the location of your case later and impossible on an emergency basis.
I have been preparing these divorce contracts for people for fifteen years. I also have been litigating the mistakes from bad contracts for the same amount of time. I know what to include based on your unique situation.
Includes: General Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Medical Directives, Trust, Pour-Over Will, up to 2 Deeds to change the title of property into the name of the trust
For a Single Person: $2,500
For a Married Couple: $4,500
Annual review of estate planning documents – free
Contested divorce – price depends on the complexity of your case
From beginning of the case through the first court hearing (usually the Case Management Conference), prices starting from $3,500 …
Included in this are filing the Complaint or Answer and/or Counterclaim, setting the initial hearing, filing your mandatory Financial Disclosure Form, conducting a mandatory Early Case Conference with the other attorney and producing the related report that gets filed with the Court, conducting initial discovery and disclosing those documents to the other side, preparing and filing the required pre-hearing statement with the court , and attendance at the first hearing.
Additional fees charged for: additional discovery, such as Subpoenas, Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, deposition, discovery motions; Any interim motions filed or opposed; Any additional court appearances required.
From the Case Management Conference through the Settlement Conference, prices starting from $2,500 …
Included in this are gathering and disclosing discovery documents, updating financial disclosures, filing the mandatory pre-settlement statement with the court, and attendance at the settlement conference.
From the Settlement Conference through Trial, prices starting from $5,000…
Every case is unique and every case requires a different amount of preparation and time commitment. I still aim to charge flat fees so that you know exactly how much you’re going to end up paying.
Whether you are looking to be a guardian of a minor child or an incapacitated adult, you will have to attend at least one hearing, and you will need to do an annual update to the court which is usually just paperwork. I can assist with all of these matters.
Petition to Establish a Guardianship through first court appearance, prices starting at $2,500…
Adoption $1,500 flat fee for simple adoption where the biological parent(s) sign a Consent for Adoption, or one biological parent signs a Consent so that a step-parent may adopt the child. These types of adoptions require filing the Petition and attending a hearing.
If the adoption is more complex and required additional paperwork or multiple hearings, additional charges apply.
Termination of Parental Rights, prices starting at $3,500…
If you are wanting to terminate one or both parents’ rights to custody of their children, then you must file a Petition and have the parents served. You will have to prove at an evidentiary hearing/trial that it is in the children’s best interests that parental rights should be terminated. The cost of representation for this type of case depends on the ultimate length of the trial (can range from one hour to a full day trial).
General civil litigation (property and contract disputes, probate litigation, etc) $300/hour
Personal Injury: standard contingency fee
Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 starting at $1,750; Chapter 13 starting at $4,500
Appeals starting at $5,000
Writs for Prohibition starting at $2,500
Court appearances (Temporary Protective Orders, hearing on motions, etc.) starting at $1,000