How much will it cost to get divorced?  It depends.  These three factors will have the biggest impact. 

  1.  Where are you located?  It will cost a lot more to be divorced in a city where lawyers charge $500 per hour than $200.00 per hour. 
  2. What are the issues?  If you own property or have children, it will be more costly to figure out how to divide the property and share in parenting.  
  3. What process are you going to use? There are three different types of processes that can be utilized in a divorce.  The one that you select can increase, or decrease, the costs.

What are the processes available?  In most cases, there are three possible processes to consider before you file for divorce.  

  • Litigation.   Many people start out with a divorce by visiting a lawyer and filing a complaint.  The process involving filing a complaint, an answer and then going before the judge without a written agreement is called litigation.  Even when an agreement is reached after suit is filed, litigation tends to be more expensive than the other options.
  • Collaborative law.  Collaborative divorce is a process when both parties have their own lawyers but reach the agreement before filing the complaint or petition.  That tends to be cheaper than litigation.  
  • Mediation.  Often the most cost saving process is mediation.  Some cases involving mediation may result in fees and costs less than $1500 total.  Even when parties start with litigation, mediation is an option to reduce costs by reaching an agreement at the earliest possible date.

While actual data about the costs is difficult to obtain, this article by attorney Bruce Pruitt-Hamm, describes most of the recent surveys and studies about the costs of divorce.  This infographic summarizes this information and demonstrates some of the variables.

If you are considering divorce, you can read more about mediation and collaborative divorce on our website.  You may also attend a seminar about using mediation in your divorce by contacting us to register for our free monthly session..  Contact us if you have other questions about mediation or collaborative divorce.