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How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Colorado?


It’s never a good idea to navigate the legal system alone during a Colorado divorce. Colorado has laws compelling divorcing spouses to divide and distribute their marital assets and debts as well as complex laws for child custody, child support, and spousal support. Although an out-of-court settlement agreement is the best-case scenario for saving the money, time, and contention of a court battle, legal representation through a Fort Collins divorce attorney helps safeguard your rights, defend your best interests, and ensure meticulous paperwork and a streamlined process. If the divorce requires litigation in court, an attorney is essential. Chances are, your soon-to-be ex-spouse already has an attorney. So, you may be wondering, “How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Colorado, and what can I expect to pay for my divorce?”

how much is a colorado divorce?

What Does a Divorce Attorney in Colorado Charge?

A skilled, experienced divorce lawyer doesn’t typically offer free consultations the way a personal injury attorney does. Most Colorado divorce attorneys charge an initial consultation fee and require a retainer once you’ve chosen to hire them. Average retainers range between $2,000-$4,000. Then the attorney charges by the hour for the number of hours they work on your case, typically during meetings, legal proceedings, and court. Average hourly fees for divorce lawyers in Colorado are between $250-$400 per hour.

The total cost of your attorney’s fees depends on the number of billable hours they accumulate while working on your case. An uncontested divorce is much less expensive than a contested divorce which requires far more hours during litigation in court.

What is an Uncontested Divorce, and How Does it Save on the Cost of a Divorce Lawyer in Colorado?

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to negotiate the terms of a divorce agreement between themselves and their attorneys without the need for court disputes. In an uncontested divorce, one or more meetings take place to negotiate a settlement agreement covering all legal requirements for divorce including:

Sometimes a professional mediator helps both spouses to overcome any disputes that arise by offering neutral opinions and guidance as well as creative solutions to help the spouses compromise and reach agreements on their disputed matters. Although mediators charge a fee, the total cost of an attorney and mediator is far less in an uncontested divorce compared to the legal fees involved in a contested divorce.

After both spouses sign a settlement agreement, the judge merely signs off on it and issues orders under the terms of the agreement, unless the judge finds something egregiously unfair to one spouse or suspects a spouse signed the agreement under duress. A skilled family law attorney in Fort Collins helps ensure the settlement agreement meets the legal requirements so a judge will sign it and issue a divorce decree under the agreed-upon terms.

What is a Contested Divorce and Why Is It More Expensive?

When divorcing spouses cannot agree on one or more terms of their divorce, despite attempts at negotiations and mediation, the matter must go to court in a contested divorce. This requires far more billable hours in attorney fees as the divorce lawyer prepares for court, gathers and documents evidence, prepares witnesses for testimony, and throughout the court process itself. Divorce litigation can take as little as one day in court or could take several days or even weeks, depending on the number of disputed terms. After both sides present their cases, the judge makes binding legal decisions and issues orders in the divorce decree.

Divorcing spouses with litigated divorces in court must also pay court costs.

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