Divorce can be very expensive or moderately cheap. It ranges in cost from $250-$100,000. The biggest factor in the cost of a divorce is if it is contested or not; a contested divorce is when the the two people cannot agree and everything has to be decided in court. The more contentious the divorce, the more expensive it will be. An uncontested divorce can be done for less than a $1000; while a contested divorce usually costs from $15,000-$30,000. The average cost of a divorce is $12,500.
The cost of a divorce includes many things such as legal fees, court fees, and mediation and collaboration fees. Legal fees are divorce lawyer fees; divorce lawyers charge anywhere from $75-$450 an hour depending on their experience and success rate, and their location. Instead of an hourly rate, some lawyers charge a flat rate, usually of a few thousand dollars or have a set fee per contested item. If the divorce needs to go to trial, lawyer fees will be substantially more. Low income people can get a cheap or free lawyer through Legal Aid. Mediation is when couples sit down with a mediator to work out how things will be divided up. In some States, it is mandatory for couples to sit down with a mediator before they can get a court date. A mediator generally charges anywhere from $100-$200 an hour. Collaboration is when the lawyers of the people getting divorced agree to settle the divorce without litigation. The lawyers will need to be trained in collaborative divorce. The average cost of collaboration is around $3000 per lawyer. Other divorce costs are things like court filing fees, counselling for any children involved, and accountant or real estate fees.
Hidden Divorce Costs
Unfortunately divorce is very costly and there are a pile of expenses that go along with it. There are the obvious costs like lawyer and court fees, and there is also a lot of hidden costs that people don’t think of that can really add up. Things like moving costs, real estate fees if a house is being sold, processing fees, and counselling fees can really add up and are often forgotten about when calculating the cost of a divorce. There are also hidden costs after the divorce such as being in a different income tax bracket, having to get different health insurance, having to get a job, child care and so much more. The cost of a divorce is far more than just the lawyer and court fees.
Unfortunately many couples divorcing have the added stress of dealing with a home mortgage. Many families are two income families and after a divorce, the mortgage is simply too expensive for one person to pay, even with child support. Often the house will need to be sold so the mortgage can be paid off, and then whatever money is remaining from the sale is divided between the two people. In some cases, where the mortgage is affordable for one person, the home is refinanced in that person’s name, and any loss or profit from the refinancing is considered in the divorce settlement. If the home is completely paid off and is mortgage free, it is usually given to one of the spouses as part of the settlement; however sometimes it is sold and the profits from it are divided between the two people. Having a mortgage will increase the cost of a divorce significantly as there will be real estate and lawyer fees; home inspection fees; possible house repairs costs; and things like moving costs.
Cost of a Divorce Lawyer
Divorce lawyers range in cost from $75-$450 per hour. The cost of a divorce lawyer depends on the lawyer’s skill and experience, and location. Low income people can get a cheap or free divorce lawyer through Legal Aid; unfortunately lawyers through legal aid tend to be newer lawyers lacking experience.
Average Cost of Divorce with Children
Divorce is difficult and expensive at the best of time, but add children to it and it becomes considerably worse. When children are involved things like child support and custody have to be worked out, which adds to the overall cost of the divorce. The cost of divorce with children ranges from $14,000-$25,000, with the average being around $19,500. The average cost of a divorce without children is $12,500; the cost of a divorce with children is around $7000 more than a divorce without children is. A divorce with children typically takes eleven months to complete.
Contested and Uncontested Divorce Cost
When it comes to divorce, being able to work things out amiably can save thousands of dollars. An uncontested divorce can be done for less than $1000, sometimes as low as $250, while a contested divorce averages in price from $12,000-$30,000. An uncontested divorce is considerably shorter than a contested divorce is. The more a couple fights and disagree, the more the divorce will cost.
Low Cost Divorce
Typically, a divorce is very expensive; however, if both parties can get along and work things out amiably, an uncontested divorce can be done for less than $1000. There are online divorce services that average in cost from $250-$500 for a simple uncontested divorce. Low income people may be able to get a lawyer through Legal Aid for a very low cost or even free, or may be able to get a lawyer to take the job as a pro bono case.
How Much Do Divorce Cost in California?
The cost of a divorce in California is higher than the national average is. The national average of a divorce in America is around $12,500; the national average of a divorce in California is around $18,000. The cost of filing for divorce in California is $395, any additional motions that are filed typically cost from $20-$70 each. Most divorce lawyers in California charge $300-$350 per hour for their services; however, a few charge a flat rate of $6000-$10,000.
How Much Do Divorce Cost in Texas?
The cost of a divorce in Texas is higher than the national average is. The national average of a divorce in America is around $12,500; the national average of a divorce in Texas is around $15,600. The average cost of a divorce lawyer in Texas is around $300 an hour; however, it can be as high as $350 per hour to as low as $50 per hour.