The average attorney that represents corporations in Virginia, probably charges at LEAST $150 an hour.
So in order for your ex-employer to file a Complaint to either prevent you from working elsewhere, or alleging breach of contract, you can count on at least $2000 in legal fees. Add in meetings, discussions, legal research, and your old employer is looking at around $5000 just to file the lawsuit. All the way to trial, I think around $20,000 or MORE is likely.
Want to save everyone the time and money. Many employees will offer cash settlements or buyouts on their non-competes.
Sometimes this saves everyone time and money — so think about it! I know you may not want to give that jerk a dime (the “principle” of it) – but sometimes a good business decision is better for everyone.