Planning Ahead: How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

According to Forbes, the average cost of a divorce in the U.S. range from $15,000 to $30,000.

Of course, that’s the average.

To honestly answer the question, “how much does a divorce cost” we need to look at the factors that are involved.

Read on to learn more about the cost of a divorce and what factors affect the price you will pay.

How Much Does A Divorce Cost?

Each divorce is unique. That is why the price of a divorce can range drastically. The most significant factor is whether or not a divorce is uncontested.

Uncontested Divorce

During an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on the children’s custody, the support payments and how they will distribute their property.

Uncontested divorces do not go to trial. That means that these divorces are much faster and so the legal fees will be lower.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce means that the couple does not agree about some aspect of the separation. Either one person does not want a divorce, or the two people cannot come to terms about the division of their assets, child support, or there is a custody battle for the children.

These divorces usually go to court and require a lengthy process with a lot of work by both attorneys. They are much more expensive than uncontested divorces.

Legal Fees

The most significant chunk of the cost of a divorce is the legal fees. Here are the varies items that fall under legal fees.

Attorney’s Time

Usually, the largest portion of your legal fees goes to pay a lawyer for his or her time.

Some lawyers will charge by the hour, but some even charge by the minute. The fee for a lawyer depends on how complicated the case is and how much experience that attorney has.

Also, which state you live in could affect the attorney’s rate. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100-$400 per hour.

Besides the time your lawyer spends working on your case, he or she may also charge you for travel time.


You will probably have to pay to have your assets professionally appraised. Assets include your home, any fine art, and collectibles as well as antiques.

Changes to Your Will

Most people need to change their will when they get divorced. The price of updating a will can go up a lot if the changes are complicated.

Document Copy Charges

You might be surprised to learn that you will have to pay for every copy of each document in your file. Documents include your credit card statements, your latest tax return and so on.

Expenses Related to Children

If you have children, there are several extra expenses in your divorce case.

For example, if you are your spouse cannot agree on custody arrangements, you will need a custody assessment. This assessment is completed by a health professional who determines co-parenting limits.

Some states mandate that you are your spouse take parenting courses before you can legally divorce.

Bottom Line

We hope this blog has helped you understand that the answer to the questions “how much does a divorce cost” depends on many factors.

Are you getting ready for a divorce? Read these divorce planning tips to help you prepare for a divorce.  Or reach out to us directly and we will be more than happy to help you through this challenging time.


Contact Indigo Family Law

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