“How much will my custody case cost?” is a question I hear over and over. I don’t know is the answer. If things go well, if both parents and attorneys are reasonable, and you are lucky, the cost may be below my initial retainer of $5,000 and you will get a refund. If you get into litigation, your fees could be two or three times that, or even more. The sky really is the limit.
Witness the Toronto case known as M. and F. The mother alleged that the father was not entited to overnight visits with their six year old son because he had been violent toward her. That made him, according to the mother, unsafe to be alone with the child. The mother owns a successful insurance brokerage. The father is a lawyer.
The trial lasted 34 days. Then the case went to the Ontario Court of Appeal. In the end, the father won. The court ordered the mother to pay $540,000 of the father’s legal fees. The total amount of legal fees spent by the two parents was over two million dollars.