How Much Does a Divorce Cost? A List of Factors

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Deciding to end your marriage is never easy, but one of the most significant considerations beyond the emotional stress of ending the relationship is the cost. Although hiring an experienced divorce attorney can help mitigate some of the losses, it may not eliminate the financial burden you have to deal with throughout the process.

Typically, the cost of divorce varies wildly depending on a wide range of factors. On average, divorcing parties in the United States spend approximately $15,000 per spouse. This cost includes attorney’s fees, different court costs, and the cost of hiring other experts such as a child custody & support evaluator, real estate appraiser, or tax adviser.

Before you start the journey of filing for a separation, consider using an online divorce attorney calculator to estimate the overall divorce cost. This will provide you with a clue on how much money you may spend on the process and prepare you financially.

In this post, we discuss some of the critical factors that usually determine the overall cost of divorce.

1. Contested vs Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce means both parties are in agreement that the divorce is necessary, and they are willing to work out a plan on how to solve contentious issues such as division of property and child custody.

Generally, an uncontested divorce will cost far less than a contested divorce that may go to trial. Keep in mind that, in most cases, the legal fee is the highest cost in a divorce case. Therefore, if both parties can agree on contentious issues, attorneys won’t spend a lot of time in court litigating your divorce and trying to get the best possible outcome.

divorce cost attorney

Uncontested divorce is relatively cheaper than contested divorce

On average, divorce attorneys charge $1,000 for an uncontested divorce because the work of a divorce lawyer is usually limited in such cases. Even though it is possible to file for an uncontested divorce without help from an attorney, it is not good to follow that route because issues might come up along the way, and you will need someone to guide you on how to proceed with the divorce.

2. Number of marital assets involved

In most cases, the more marital assets you have, the more complex your divorce might be, and the higher the cost. In fact, whenever you use an online divorce attorney calculator to estimate the cost of your divorce, marital assets play a crucial role in determining the overall cost.

If you and your partner have jointly accumulated a lot of wealth, such as equities, real estate, and other investments, your divorce attorney may advise you to find him/her some expert help.

For instance, you may be required to hire a real estate appraiser or financial analyst to help with certain aspects of your case, which might drive up the overall cost of your divorce.

3. Custody battle over children

The moment you decide to file for divorce and children are involved, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Some spouses won’t let their children be taken away from them no matter what. This may lead to a fierce custody battle that will only add expenses to your divorce.


Divorce is much more complicated when child custody is involved

Things might even get worse if the court decides to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem because you will be forced to pay for that as well. And things get worse if your divorce attorney is forced to call in an expert witness to help resolve the child custody battle.

4. What do you need for a second household?

Divorce means that one of you must move out of the matrimonial home to set up a whole new household.  This means that both of you will most likely incur some expenses as you seek to replace things you shared, such as beddings, furniture, dishes, and so on.

However, furnishing a house isn’t cheap. You will need a significant amount of money to buy everything you need to start a new life.  No matter the situation, don’t make the mistake of going into debt to purchase new household items.

If you feel like you can’t afford new items, feel free to shop for second-hand items to save as much money as possible. You will need it along the way.

5. Divorce lawyer fees

Lastly, the divorce attorney you hire will have a significant impact on your overall cost of divorce, but that doesn’t mean you should go for the cheapest attorney in town.

The biggest mistake you can ever commit in your divorce process is hiring an incompetent attorney because he/she will only make it more painful than it should be. Keep in mind that if you don’t get good legal guidance, your partner may win everything against you, and there is nothing you will do about it.

Therefore, when searching for a divorce attorney, find someone with a lot of experience within the family law field and let him/her handle your case.


At Legal Giant, we understand the fact that having a skilled and knowledgeable divorce attorney on your side can be a significant asset to your divorce case. Our team of experienced divorce attorneys that can help you achieve a fair and satisfactory outcome is only a phone call away. Contact us today and let us discuss your legal options.

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