One thing that hits people hardest during a divorce is the expense of the process. Aside from filing fees, there may be expenses for realtors, appraisers, tax professionals and more. Every negotiation over how to divide the assets or what visitation and custody should look like takes time — and time costs money.
While there can be a huge variation in the amount that any couple pays for their divorce, it’s natural to wonder how much a divorce is likely to cost you. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of bad news for Texans: The state is one of the most costly when it comes to ending a marriage.
While it only costs a few hundred dollars to actually file for a divorce, the average cost of a divorce that doesn’t involve minor children is $15,600. If you do have children, that average cost shoots up dramatically — to about $23,500. That’s the fifth-highest cost in the country for both categories. (If you want to know who has it the worst, that’s Californians. The higher cost of living in the state is likely behind the extra expense.)
How do you handle the expense of a divorce? Here are some tips:
- Understand your payment arrangements with your attorney. You may be able to work out a payment plan that’s easier to manage.
- Minimize the amount of conflicts. Every fight with your spouse over how to divide the furniture that involves your attorney costs you more. Decide in advance what’s really important to you and only go to battle over those.
- Plan ahead for the extra costs associated with divorce that aren’t part of professional fees, like the money you need to get a new apartment, moving costs, utility costs and so on.
Ultimately, if you’re in an unhappy marriage and want to get out, it may feel like no price to pay is too much.