How Much Does the Average Divorce Cost?
cost of every divorce is different since each case has unique facts and issues. A
complex case will take longer to resolve, thus increasing the cost.
Attorneys typically collect an initial retainer, which is a deposit that your legal fees are deducted from. Your attorney and legal team will bill by the hour for the time they spend working on your case. When the retainer has been depleted, you will be asked to replenish the retainer.
An uncontested divorce is cheaper than a contested divorce because they are much shorter. To qualify as an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must have a full agreement on how to resolve the 4 core aspects of divorce: child custody, property division, child support, and alimony. If the parties cannot agree on how to resolve all aspects of the divorce, they must proceed with a contested divorce.
How to Save Money in a Divorce
Although some of the costs in a divorce are unavoidable, there are some things you can do to reduce the cost of your divorce.
The terms of representation should be clearly described in a written fee agreement, which you may reference should you have questions regarding your attorney bills. Keep in mind that your attorney is billing you for the time he/she spends on your case, so you should use the time spent with your attorney wisely. It is helpful to prepare a list or agenda of questions or issues you would like to discuss head of time, in order to make the best use of your attorney's billable time.
Take responsibility for the things you can do yourself to resolve your case. Divorce can be challenging and stressful, so you should contact a mental health professional if you are struggling with your emotions. You and your spouse should discuss how items of personal property should be divided and prepare a written list defining who shall retain each item.
You should follow along with the divorce plan, which you and your attorney have agreed upon, and be sure to respond in a timely manner to any correspondence from your legal team. During the Discovery phase of your divorce, be sure to work with your legal team to gather and provide any necessary documents.
Once each party obtains a
reasonable understanding of the other party's position, most cases will attempt
to settle in order to reduce the duration and subsequent cost of divorce. Settlement
significantly reduces the cost of your divorce by eliminating the costs of a