Not only is divorce emotionally draining, but it’s often a costly process. There are many considerations when hiring an attorney, so getting started can be overwhelming. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best divorce lawyers in Omaha to find an advocate to represent your interests during this challenging time.
Some Omaha couples choose to settle their divorce on their own, but most prefer to hire a divorce lawyer to make sure they have the best possible representation. Divorce lawyers help mediate between you and your spouse, guide you through every stage of the process and protect your finances and legal rights.
Omaha’s annual divorce rate of 3 per 1,000 residents is slightly lower than the national average, but divorce is still common enough that many experienced attorneys specialize in the field.
When you decide to file for divorce in Omaha, you want a lawyer who is a good fit for you, your situation and your finances. The attorney you hire should make you feel comfortable and inspire confidence.
Different divorce types in Omaha
If you and your spouse agree on issues of alimony, property division and child custody, the divorce is considered uncontested. These are the least expensive and most straightforward cases. If your divorce is contested, however, you have several ways of finalizing the divorce terms in Omaha.
Litigation is when you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of your divorce. Both you and your spouse hire attorneys to represent you in court, and a judge makes binding decisions on any disputed issues, including child custody, the division of property and alimony. Litigation is the most expensive option when getting a divorce.
Mediation is a less expensive option for couples whose divorces are relatively amicable. For mediation, you hire a neutral third party who is trained in conflict resolution and family law to oversee negotiations and reopen lines of communication if you and your spouse reach an impasse. You and your spouse can choose to have separate lawyers present when reviewing the final settlement.
Collaborative divorce involves hiring attorneys to try to reach an out-of-court agreement. If the attempt to find terms both sides find fair fails, the parties must hire new attorneys before proceeding to litigation.
The cost of divorce lawyers in Omaha
Most attorneys charge an hourly rate for their services. In Omaha, the average cost per hour for an attorney is $200, though that can range from $150 to $600 or more an hour, depending on the attorney’s experience. The average cost for a divorce in Omaha is $10,400, with attorneys’ fees making up around $8,000 of that total.
A trial in Omaha can cost $25,000 or more, which includes the cost of both attorneys and other experts, such as a real estate appraiser or child custody evaluator hired to advocate for you in court. If the divorce is uncontested and you choose not to hire an attorney, you may only have court filing fees. Filing fees cost around $160 in Nebraska, but you can have them waived if you cannot afford them.
Many attorneys in Omaha offer consultations free or at a reduced rate. During your consultation, ask about the attorney’s hourly rate and whether they require a retainer, which is a lump sum payment from which they draw expenses. You may have money left over after finalizing your divorce, so ask if any unused portion of the retainer is refundable.
To keep track of divorce costs, establish how often you want to receive itemized invoices from your lawyer that show hourly charges and expenses. Double-check that everything you and your attorney agreed on is in a signed contract that clearly outlines the financial terms. This protects you from any hidden fees.
Choosing a divorce lawyer in Omaha
One of the most significant considerations when choosing an attorney in Omaha is whether to hire one who specializes in divorce or family law. A family law attorney can help with divorce-related issues such as child custody. When you need to hire a family law attorney, look at their record for winning child custody cases and what experience they have handling cases similar to yours.
When you start looking for a divorce attorney in Omaha, schedule a consultation with your top choices. A good way to decide if a lawyer is right for you before hiring them is to ask questions. Some questions you might ask include:
How long have you practiced law?
What kind of divorce cases do you handle?
How many divorce cases have you handled?
Are you trained in any specialties?
What is your strategy for my case?
How long do you take to return phone calls or emails?
Will anyone else be working on my case?
What is your hourly rate?
What is your retainer fee?
What other costs may be involved?
What is the average cost for divorces similar to mine?
May I have a list of references to contact?
It’s critical to find a lawyer that can help with your type of divorce. If you and your spouse are amicable and hope to avoid litigation, you want an attorney who specializes in mediation and settling disputes out of court. If your divorce involves a large number of high-value assets, hire a lawyer who has experience with complex financial issues.
Use your consultation to see how comfortable you feel with the attorney. Although it’s tempting to choose the cheapest option, that’s rarely the best decision. Hiring an attorney with the right experience and personality fit makes your divorce less stressful and provides long-term benefits by providing a better chance for a favorable outcome.
Nebraska Legal Group is a divorce and family law firm in Omaha that specializes in child custody cases. The firm provides representation for all types of divorce cases, including mediation, collaborative divorce, uncontested divorce and litigation. Omaha clients appreciate the firm’s attorneys for taking the time to understand each case.
Koenig | Dunne
Koenig | Dunne is an Omaha law firm with 35 years of experience in family law, bankruptcy and estate planning. The founding attorneys wrote a book about navigating the divorce process in Nebraska. Omaha clients praise the firm’s attorneys at for providing thorough advice and say they receive excellent customer service from every staff member.
Hightower Reff Law
Hightower Reff Law, located near Westroads Mall, represents clients in family law and criminal defense cases. The firm’s blog is a helpful resource for learning about specific divorce topics such as alimony, child support and dividing assets. Omaha clients appreciate the attorneys’ dedication to each client and quick responses to any questions.