How much a divorce costs depends entirely on the circumstances of the divorce, and there are many, many factors that come into play. First of all, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on how to get a divorce so you will be aware of all the steps involved in the process. Below are the major expenses involved, and an estimate of the average costs.
The Type of Divorce Affects Fees
How much a divorce costs depends greatly on the type of divorce. I bet you didn’t even know there are different types of divorces, but there are, so read on.
If you get an uncontested divorce, it’s fairly quick, cheap, and mostly painless. An uncontested divorce means both spouses agree on everything from division of assets, to child support payments, to pre-nup terms, to the separation date, etc. If that’s the case, all that needs to be done is to file the divorce paperwork (see below).
Since complete agreement is hardly the case for most people, a regular, contested divorce is more common. This means the spouses will typically have to involve divorce lawyers or mediators to help them work out the differences and come to a settlement. Naturally, this makes the cost of divorce much higher.
Divorce Filing Fees
You must file paperwork with the county court to start the divorce process. The court will always have fees associated with this filing. Divorce filing fees are generally in the $200 to $400 range, depending on state law. They can also vary based on the type of divorce proceeding, as explained above. There may also be fee waivers or discounts allowed for low income individuals, but only in certain cases. You may also have to get certain documents notarized, for which there can be some small additional fees.
Service of the Divorce
Anytime you wish to take legal action against someone, that person must be officially “served” notice of the complaint. You can’t serve the divorce paperwork yourself, so there may be fees associated to have someone serve the other party. Many counties’ Sheriff’s Offices have some type of service for this.
Divorce Lawyer Fees
Divorce is a difficult thing to go through and often it involves a lot of arguments and disagreements. Because divorces have such a tendency to get ugly, divorce lawyers are sometimes necessary to help resolve the conflicts. Depending on the complexity of the case, divorce lawyer fees can range anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 or, in certain instances, even beyond. How much lawyers cost for divorce, or any service for that matter, will be dependent on their experience level, the type of work they do, and various other factors.
So, all things considered, how much a divorce costs will usually be in the range of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. But it can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the divorce and the level of involvement that is required from a divorce lawyer. Find a divorce lawyer in your area to get more information about the fees to file for divorce and to and start the process.