You’ve talked it through. You both believe it’s the right thing to do. But going through a divorce is often far from easy, or cheap.
The financial process of navigating a divorce with your spouse can feel overwhelming. At first, it might seem straightforward. But then fees pile up, charges accumulate and coming to agreements can be exhausting.
Determining the cost of a divorce depends on your situation with your partner. While some divorces can be just a few hundred dollars, others may reach into the thousands.
Check out this short video to learn the different aspects of a divorce that will cost you:
It’s best to be prepared for the financial cost of getting a divorce. Here are four factors that you should pay attention to:
1. Cost Depends on Your Case Details
Despite the high frequency of divorce, there’s no one, clear process that couples go through. Everyone’s situation is different – there are no identical cases.
One factor that affects the cost of divorce is the complexities involved in your case. There are an array of details that must be sorted out during this process, which can add up in time and money.
According to an article by Joe Dillion from Equitable Mediation, there are several details to consider. Such complexities include:
- Length of marriage
- Significant income differences
- Jointly owned assets
- Small business ownership
Determining these pieces of life takes time. And when paying your attorney by the hour, it can get expensive. If you have a lot of marital property, it will take more time and money, to come to an agreement.
In very complex cases, Dillion notes your attorney may bring in an expert financial advisor.
Details of the marriage is an influential piece to determining the cost of a divorce.
2. Cost Depends on Your Conflict
If you’re not willing to work together to settle discussions in a divorce, you’re going to end up paying more.
How much you spend on a divorce is also affected by how agreeable you and your spouse choose to be. Maintaining trust during the negotiations allows the process to move smoother.
Your commitment to compromise also factors into the amount of time and money it will cost you in sorting out negotiations.
Just how influential is your willingness to work together? In an article by Lerandeau and Lerandeau Divorce and Family Law, heightened emotions are the greatest source of legal fees. Distrust, fear, and manipulation can turn a simple divorce case into an extended battle.
Emotions are bound to be an influence in any sort of divorce discussion. But if neither you nor your spouse are willing to work together to determine solutions, a divorce will end up costing you much more.
3. Cost Depends on Method of Divorce
In addition to dealing with complexities and your level of conflict, you’ll have the opportunity to choose your method of divorce.
An article from a family law attorney in Fishers, Cogswell & Associates, notes that there are four main ways to go about a divorce. A do-it-yourself divorce can range from $300 to $1,800. A mediated divorce, which utilizes a third-party mediator, can range from $5,000 to $9,000.
Additionally, a collaborative divorce, which utilizes attorneys and divorce mediation, can cost from $25,000 to $50,000. Finally, a litigated divorce with lawyers and a judge can cost anywhere from $20,00 to $200,000. Extra attorney fees can also add up fast, costing from $250 to $500 per hour.
Each method of divorce has certain benefits and disadvantages you will want to be aware of in determining which is best for you and your family.
When hiring a lawyer, be conscious of their rates and any extra fees they have. You don’t always want to choose the least expensive lawyer. Choose a resource of quality with reasonable rates.
4. Cost Depends on Family
Your children are perhaps the most difficult piece to negotiating a divorce agreement. It’s often what’s most challenging for both you and your spouse. Factoring your children into the mix also increases the cost of a divorce.
Children living at home raises custody and support issues in a divorce case. These extra steps mean extra money in finalizing a divorce. This factor also extends the length of the divorce process.
According to an article by Lawyers.com, the average cost of a divorce when children are involved is $19,200. The duration of the cases are also longer, with an average of an 11-month process, as stated by Lawyers.com.
Divorce is far from easy.
When discovering how much filing for divorce will cost you and your spouse, there are several factors at play. In determining cost, be aware of the complexities, your level of conflict, the method you choose and whether you have children.
In understanding these four factors, you can get a better sense of how much a divorce will cost you.