How Much Will Your Divorce Cost?
Getting divorced is a stressful time in life. The last thing you need is financial strain added to your worries, but divorce can come with some major costs that are better to know about sooner rather than later. When you understand what factors contribute to the costs, you may be able to offset some as you work through the process. Here’s how much divorce costs on average and why.
The cost of divorce varies due to a number of individual factors that are special for every case. Whether your case goes to trial can heavily impact the amount. The average cost of a divorce that is settled outside of court is a little over $10,000. The average cost of a divorce that ends up in a trial can be over $20,000. These costs come from filing fees, lawyer fees and mediation fees. The most expensive divorces are the ones that hold the highest contention between the two parties.
Filing fees vary from state to state. Some states have relatively low fees (e.g., Washington D.C. is only $80), but others are fairly high (e.g., California at $435). In some scenarios these fees can be waived, but you have to find this out from your state.
Lawyers can be costly when it comes to divorce. If there are many issues between you and your spouse, you may need the intervention of several lawyers to sort everything out. Divorce lawyers typically charge by the hour anywhere between $100 and $400. This can add up quickly when you require a significant amount of work from your lawyer, and it can be very expensive when you need their representation in court.
Mediation can be an additional fee on top of everything else, or it may save you money depending on how you use it. Some couples choose to get mediators instead of lawyers in an attempt to settle things in a relatively simple manner. Others may be court-ordered to get a mediator to help find common ground and compromises over disputes. If the latter is true, you can add this cost to your overall divorce total.
Divorce can be expensive and exhausting, but you don’t need to psychologically suffer from the ordeal. Even some help from a lawyer can ensure you protect your assets during this difficult split. Talk to one to see how they might be able to help, and you can always negotiate price with them before they start working for you.