*As the unemployment rate continues to rise, and with the economy experiencing a slow recovery, some couples find themselves rethinking divorce. Why? Well a number of factors may play a role in the postponing of a divorce proceeding. Factors may include, but are not limited to: unemployment, real estate ownership, and court costs.

Divorce can be somewhat costly if the matters are contested. If unemployed, it may be difficult to hire an attorney for your divorce. Many jurisdictions prohibit attorneys from accepting divorce matters on a contingent fee basis. Thus, attorneys must be paid upfront. Attorneys may charge from $250-$500 per hour or more, and retainer fees of $2500-$5000 or more may be required at the time of signing of a retainer agreement. There are companies that may finance a divorce, but they may only finance cases with significant assets.

Owning a home is considered the American dream. But, sharing the dream with your soon to be ex-spouse may transform it into a nightmare. Depending on how title is held, and which jurisdiction the parties reside in, the couple may split the proceeds of the real estate sale upon divorce. If the parties owe more on the home than what the home is worth, selling in this tough real estate market may not be feasible. Some are unable to move forward without the funds from the real estate sale, turning soon to be ex-spouses into roommates.

Filing fees for divorce matters vary by jurisdiction. The petitioner in a divorce case may be required to pay an initial filing fee. A sheriff’s fee may be required to have the other party served with the petition and summons. Once served, the respondent may be required to pay an appearance fee. If experts are used in the litigation, parties may be required to pay expert fees.

Divorce can be a stressful and/or emotional experience. Considering the cost in advance may mean one less stressful event during the process.

Jameika Williams Mangum is an Attorney at the Mangum Law Firm, LLC in the Chicago area. The Mangum Law Firm, LLC is a general practice firm with a focus on Criminal, Civil, and Family Law. For more information, please visit www.themangumlawfirm.com.

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