How much does a divorce cost? Well, that depends. A lot of factors can affect the cost of a divorce, such as what state you live in, whether you plan to hire attorneys, whether you live in a large city (divorce lawyers are more expensive in larger cities), and how much you and your spouse disagree on issues regarding the divorce settlement.
If you decide to litigate in divorce court, then both you and your spouse will need to hire divorce lawyers. They will expect an up-front retainer fee which can range from $500 to $10,000. The hourly rate of the attorney will be deducted from the retainer, and once that retainer amount is exhausted, you will need to pay more money to keep the lawyer working on your case.
Most lawyers charge an hourly rate, which can depend on their experience and the geographical location of their practice. Fees can range from $100 to $450 per hour. If your attorney takes an extremely adversarial approach, the time in court can really mount up. Although the average litigated divorce runs about $20,000, costs can easily double or triple depending on the lawyer and on how much conflict there is between you and your spouse on issue resolution. If there is a child custody battle, your expenses multiply as the court may require you to pay for psychiatric evaluations, expert witnesses, and possibly a “guardian ad litem” who may be appointed by the court to advocate the best interests of the child.
The good news is that if both spouses are in agreement on most issues, and are willing to work together to resolve the ones still in conflict, there is a better and less expensive way to divorce than litigation. Using a divorce legal services professional, like one of our Divorce With Dignity providers, will save you literally thousands of dollars while helping you to part amicably and in a dignified manner. Depending on your circumstances, your cost with us can range from $1,000 to $2,000 plus court fees.
Saving money by working with a Divorce With Dignity provider will really help to offset the other costs associated with a divorce. For one thing, there is usually a drastic reduction in income when spouses go their separate ways and have to maintain separate dwellings, so avoiding costly litigation and long drawn-out court proceedings is in everyone’s best financial interest.
Remember there are also emotional costs in any divorce. Divorce With Dignity can help to minimize these by guiding you through the divorce process with compassion and understanding, helping you with divorce planning that is fair to both spouses and the children, providing referrals (if needed) to other service providers such as mediators and therapists, and showing you how to get through your divorce as peacefully as possible. Getting a divorce doesn’t have to cost you lots of time, money, and undue emotional stress. Let us help you get through your divorce – with dignity!
The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice. The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions