How much does a divorce cost in Maryland? This post aims to give you a better idea of the cost of a Maryland divorce lawyer.
First, is asking a lawyer how much a divorce will cost similar to asking a barber how often you should get a haircut? Absolutely. But the key difference here is we don’t cut your kind of hair. We are not divorce lawyers and will not represent you in your Maryland divorce.
- Legal separation or limited divorce is also an option in Maryland
Maryland Divorce Lawyer’s Hourly Rates
In Maryland, divorce lawyers typically charge their clients on an hourly basis. The hourly rate charged by a lawyer may vary based on a variety of factors, including the lawyer’s level of experience, the complexity of the case, and the location of the law firm. You pay more in Chevy Chase than you do on the Eastern Shore.
The hourly rate for a divorce lawyer in Maryland generally ranges between $200 and hour and $500 an hour. That range varies based on the quality of the lawyer but not entirely. So Maryland divorce lawyers can charge more not because they are good lawyers but because they are good marketers. It is classic supply and demand. So you pay higher rate because the lawyer has more potential clients and can charge a higher rate.
The point is that don’t assume price and quality correlate.
Why Hourly Rate May Not Be the Point
The problem with hourly rate is that it is the lawyer’s billing practices matter to the final price. While most Maryland divorce attorneys bill their clients on an hourly basis on a tenth or a quarter hour basis, there may be differences in how they track their time and bill for their services. Some lawyers may be more diligent about tracking their time and accurately billing for each task. More pragmatically, some lawyers have high rates and underbill and some have low rates and overbill. The hard part? Knowing which lawyer is which when you hire a domestic attorney.
What Increases or Decreases the Cost of a Divorce Lawyer?
There are several factors that can increase or decrease the cost of a divorce attorney in Maryland beside the lawyer’s hourly rate and billing practices, including:
- The complexity of the case: The more complex a divorce case is, the more time and effort a lawyer will need to devote to it, which can result in higher fees. For example, if a case involves a high net worth, complicated property division, or difficult child custody issues, it will likely be more expensive to resolve than a straightforward divorce. Complexity also translate to how much you need the best Maryland divorce lawyer. Do you need the best divorce lawyer if the couple generally agrees on what the terms of the settlement will be? Probably not. If it is World War III and there are significant assets at stake or there is a custody dispute, that is a different story.
- The lawyer’s level of experience: More experienced lawyers often charge higher hourly rates than less experienced lawyers. However, an experienced lawyer may be able to handle a case more efficiently, resulting in lower overall costs. Again, this generally correlates but does not always correlate.
- The client’s willingness to negotiate: If a couple is able to reach agreements on key issues like property division and child custody, it can save them time and money in legal fees. However, if a couple is unable to reach agreements because of serious disagreement (or spite), the process will be longer.
- The lawyer’s willingness to negotiate: The more a divorce drags out the more a domestic lawyer can charge the client. So there is bit of a conflict of interest there. Good lawyers – most lawyers – drive through that conflict for the client for the client’s best interest. So some lawyers are quick to work to get the the end game as quickly as possible and some are not.
What Is the Cost of an Uncontested Divorce?
To initiate the divorce process, there is a mandatory filing fee that must be paid to the court. In Maryland, the filing fee varies depending on the county where the divorce is being filed, but it is typically around $215.
To initiate a mutual consent divorce in Maryland, you must file a complaint, along with the necessary forms and the filing fee, with the Maryland Circuit Court in the county where either you or your spouse resides. As long as both you and your spouse have consented and signed the settlement agreement in Maryland, there are no additional residency requirements for a mutual consent divorce in the state, apart from living in the state at the time when the complaint is filed (see Maryland Code, Family Law, § 7-101 (2023)).
Do you need a lawyer for this? You don’t. You can go online and figure out how to do it yourself. Are there risks doing it this way? Of course. Whether that risk is worth it depends on the case.
- Can you annul a marriage instead of getting divorced?
Maryland Family Lawyer Prices
Some Maryland divorce lawyers put their prices online:
This was just from surfing the Internet. We will try to add to this list. You can certainly contact us if you website has hourly rate on it and we can include you on this list
We hope this helps. Good luck.