Q: How do I go about getting a divorce and filing for full custody against my husband who is in prison for abusing me?
Do I need to file for divorce first then full custody’s or vice versa? Can I do both at the same time? How much does it cost?
In a typical divorce case where the spouses have children, the suit affecting the parent-child relationship (custody, etc.) is resolved in the same action at the same time as the issues involving the divorce and division of the spouse's marital estate.
In a situation where one spouse is in prison and unlikely to be able to effectively contest most issues, a typical divorce lawyer would request an initial retainer of $5,000 to begin work. Depending on the court, judge, extent of your marital property, any unusual circumstances affecting your children, and actions taken by your spouse to delay or fight the case, you may be able to successfully conclude the case for a total expense of around $5,000.
A competent divorce lawyer should be able to tell you in advance approximately how the extent of your marital property and any unusual circumstances affecting your children is likely to affect this cost assuming you provide full disclosure of those facts to the attorney. Shortly after your divorce case is filed, a competent divorce lawyer should be able to tell you approximately how much the court and judge is likely to affect this cost assuming the judge has been on the bench a while and the lawyer has recent experience before that judge.
How actions taken by your spouse are likely to affect this cost are inherently difficult to predict. A competent divorce lawyer may be able to provide some estimates based on certain hypothetical typical actions. But there are often atypical actions and reactions as well as unpredictable ones. For example, until 2020, I would certainly have not predicted how a global pandemic like COVID-19 would interrupt, delay, and change court proceedings, increasing the cost of pending litigation.
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