Mother not following custody order. How much will this cost?

Most divorces are stressful. Add children to the mix and you can expect the intensity to increase for all parties involved, including the lawyers, parents and the children. Unfortunately, some of the issues related to child custody may last well past the date the divorce is finalized.

Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “How much can I expect to spend on lawyer’s fees when the mother of my children refuses to follow the court’s custody order. So far I have spent $10,000 and there is no solution in sight.”

Cost for hiring a family law attorney

If you need help ensuring your ex-wife is following a child custody agreement you will probably need a family law attorney. Because your ex-wife is unwilling to cooperate, you need a lawyer who has a reputation for successfully battling an uncooperative ex and is willing to fight.

Unfortunately, as with most things, the better the lawyer the more you can expect to pay. As you can attest to first-hand, custody battles can be very expensive. To make sure that your expenses are kept in check, however, there are several steps you can take.

First, talk to your lawyer about the total costs they estimate for your case. They should have been able to give you a rough estimate prior to taking your case, but now that they understand the details of your case they should have a fairly good idea of how much work they have left to do.

Next, talk to your attorney about giving you a summary of the charges for each month and how much is left out of the initial retainer you paid to him. If you are able to get this information each month or every few weeks you may have a better understanding of the full costs you can expect to pay for his help.

How can I save money for my custody case?

Although you are already in the thick of things with this particular lawyer and may not have much control over saving money, there are steps you can take to save money if you find you need a family law attorney in the future.

First, make sure to hire the right attorney. This may take a little bit of work but finding the right attorney can help you save a lot of money. Next, make sure that all communications are grouped together. Instead of calling every time you have a question, consolidate or batch your questions. This strategy can work for both telephone and email communications.

Next, make sure your information is organized before you meet with your lawyer. This can include gathering all financial information together, such as a list of assets and liabilities, a list of any legal questions you have, as well as any child custody or legal goals you have pertaining to your case.

Finally, if you and your ex have any ongoing disputes discuss whether there are any issues you two can resolve together without legal help. If not, consider mediation, which can be much faster, less contentious, and less expensive than going to court.

Bottom line:

Without more information about the fee and charges you negotiated with your lawyer (like your retainer fee) there is no way to say how much this will cost you. Additionally, fees can vary for hiring a lawyer. In fact, fees may vary as much as $50 an hour to a $1,000 an hour or more for legal services! You need to talk directly with your lawyer and find out how much he thinks this will cost.

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Category: Family Law