Since 2000, the divorce rate in the United States has steadily been going down. The marriage rate has gone down as well, but not at the same speed as the divorce rate.
What the statistics don’t show is how many divorcees hire a lawyer, opt for mediation, or go through the process without professional guidance. All options are on the table for each couple, but how much does it cost?
Keep reading to learn the average cost to get a divorce.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce With a Lawyer?
Not every couple needs an attorney to go through a divorce, but there are circumstances where hiring a lawyer is necessary.
Even without specific circumstances, couples might prefer to hire a lawyer to take care of legal matters such as paperwork and negotiating. So, how much does it cost to get a divorce in total? Let’s dive into the specifics.
Divorce Lawyer Hourly Rates
Individual lawyer hourly rates will vary depending on who you hire. $200-$300 hourly rates are most common but you might end up spending $100 per hour or up to $400 per hour.
For a more experienced attorney, you’ll be paying higher rates.
Divorce Lawyer Additional Expenses
Lawyer fees are the biggest expense in the divorce process. You’ll have to pay filing fees and other court costs.
Family law might also include paying fees for child custody evaluators. Other additional costs include tax advisors and real estate appraisers.
You can spend anywhere from $500 to over $1,000 on these fees in total.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce Without a Lawyer?
If you can’t afford a lawyer or don’t think you need one to go over your marriage problems, the divorce will still cost you.
Plus, there are other options like mediation that help with surviving a divorce. You can learn more about that option at mediateuk.co.uk. There are court-sponsored mediation options for a low cost or for free.
You’ll save a lot of money on attorney fees if you avoid hiring a divorce lawyer. Those who handle their divorce without hiring a lawyer only spend around $300. This is the average for most people, but the amount can be over $900.
Divorce Filing Fees and Additional Expenses
When you file for a divorce, the courts will charge you a filing fee. If your spouse is the one to file the divorce, you’ll still have to pay a fee to file an answer to the petition.
Filing fee costs will vary depending on the state where you are filing a divorce. The costs tend to range from $100 to over $400.
Fees are lower when you meet certain qualifications, for example, if you don’t have minor children. In some states, you can file for divorce together to save on fees.
Additional expenses might include court fees to hire a process server and file other documents. It’ll also cost you to get a certified copy of the final divorce decree.
The Real Cost to Get a Divorce
The cost to get a divorce is often high and leads to emotional and financial strain. For most, hiring a divorce lawyer is the most convenient route but also the most expensive.
Other options like mediation and getting a divorce without an attorney are more affordable.
Depending on your specific situation, one divorce route might be more beneficial than others. Check all of your options in your area before making a decision.
For more articles about money and other informative topics, check out the other posts on our blog.