According to the most recent information available, the average divorce in this country costs right around $15,000. While that sounds like a lot of money, keep in mind the fact that it’s an average — which means that some divorces cost substantially less and others cost a great deal more. How much your divorce ultimately will cost depends a lot on both you and your spouse.
What can make your divorce expenses skyrocket? Here are some of the factors that influence your costs:
- Your location. If you live in an area where property is pricey and you have a lot of assets to divide, legal services may also be more expensive than in other areas.
- Which attorney you hire. If you and your spouse hire attorneys who are dedicated to working toward practical solutions and reasonable results, you can typically expect a less-adversarial process. If one or both attorneys are quite litigious, you may have a much longer and more complicated divorce.
- Whether or not you have children. It’s much easier to get divorced when minor children aren’t involved. The price of a divorce rises exponentially whenever there are minor children because custody and visitation are usually sensitive issues, there may be fees for parenting classes, counseling sessions and guardians ad litem.
- How determined each spouse is to fight. You can’t achieve an inexpensive or peaceful divorce on your own. If either spouse is determined to extract a pound of flesh for every little thing and likes to keep moving the goalposts, your legal fees will rise.
Ultimately, is there anything you can do to reduce the legal fees you may face? Try having an honest discussion with your spouse about your goals and see if you can both commit to getting out of the marriage with as little financial damage as possible. Just having that discussion early in your negotiations could set the tone for your later interactions.