Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Legal > Divorce

Divorce Cost


How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

 
low costDo-It-Yourself: Several Hundredaverage costUncontested: $1,000-$10,000high costContested: $5,000-$25,000+
post E-mail post Post  
  Typical costs:
  • Divorce attorneys may charge hourly fees of $75-$400, depending on the type of work done, or flat fees varying from $200 for filing a motion to $10,000-$25,000 for handling all aspects of a divorce. If paying an hourly rate, the total can be$20,000-$50,000 or more in complicated, highly emotional cases.
  • A retainer is an up-front fee paid to hire an attorney. It's either a percentage of the agreed-upon flat fee or the equivalent of several hours work. A lawyer on an hourly basis deducts that rate from the retainer as the work is done; when the retainer is gone, you are billed for more money. A South Carolina attorney charges a $750 retainer for an uncontested divorce with minimal work and a $5,000 retainer for a contested case with complex issues such as child custody or distribution of property. SideRoad.com[1] gives an overview of attorney's fees and payment arrangements.
  • Nolo Press[2] sells detailed do-it-yourself workbooks and kits for $30-$50 for residents of California and Texas who want an out-of-court settlement, and a workbook giving nationwide guidelines and worksheets ($20-$25) for getting organized and avoiding pitfalls. DivorceSupport.com provides a list of state laws and resources[3] .
  • Companies such as DivorcesYourself.com and RapidLaw.net offer online paperwork by state for $20-$50 and "full" online divorce services for$150-$250. However, the Illinois State Bar Association warns that there can be problems with this fill-in-the-blank one-size-fits-all approach to divorce.
Related articles: Attorney Fees, Alimony, Annulment, Child Custody Attorney, Child Support Attorney, Child Support

What should be included:
  • Divorce Magazine[4] provides state-by-state answers to frequently asked questions about divorce.
  • ConsumerReports.com gives an overview of the financial and legal steps to take when considering a divorce.
Additional costs:
  • Fees for investigators and other experts are not included in the attorney's charges; these can add another $2,000-$7,500 or more, depending on circumstances.
  • Your attorney will charge you for time spent answering your questions by phone or e-mail, and for staff time spent making photocopies, doing research or other work related to your case.
  • Court filing fees of $75-$350 or arbitration fees of $200-$400 an hour vary by county and state, and are not included in you attorney's charges.
  • Divorce has a number of related costs, such as finding a new home, moving, new utility and telephone deposits, child care, replacing items that were given to the spouse in the division of property and more.
  • If you take the do-it-yourself route, be sure the divorce is really done; the LA Times warns that some people who think they're divorced might not be.
Shopping for a divorce:
  • EqaulityInMarriage.org explains how to find an attorney[5] and then how to "manage" your attorney[6] . ConsumerLawPage.com gives a detailed explanation for how to find the right attorney.
  • The American Bar Association[7] links to legal resources by state, including free or low-cost legal help, the bar association to check that a lawyer is licensed in that state, and referrals to local lawyers.
  • The American Association of Matrimonial Attorneys allows you to search for an attorney by city and state.
  • Check with local or state bar associations[8] to see if an attorney is licensed in your state. Your attorney should provide a written statement of fees; read it before signing and keep a copy for your records. Be sure you understand what's covered; ask what other fees you might have to pay in the process of getting a divorce.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


10 Key Ways to Prepare for Extreme Snow
Forecasters are predicting a true nor'easter will hit the eastern and central states with rain, thunderstorms, ice, snow and high winds over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's crucial to plan ahead, before bad weather hits. || Posted November 26 2013


10 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures Before the Holidays
With reunions and other get-togethers scheduled during the holiday season, most people want to look their best at this time of year. For some, that means filling in those wrinkles with a bit of botox, or having a nip and tuck down here and there. || Posted November 23 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Divorce
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Contested or Not: Firm: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.sideroad.com/Divorce/how-much-does-a-divorce-cost.html
  2.  www.nolotech.com/index.html
  3.  www.divorcesupport.com/
  4.  www.divorcemag.com/faq/
  5.  www.equalityinmarriage.org/wdfindlawyer.html
  6.  www.equalityinmarriage.org/wdmanaging.html
  7.  apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm
  8.  www.americanbar.org/groups/bar_services/resources/state_local_bar_associations.html
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Do Funeral Flowers Cost? How Much Do Tax Returns Cost? How Much Does Closing a Home Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Insulation and labor of sump pump
Paid: 11000.00
My 87 year old mother was just told by Roto Rooter it would cost her 11,000 for a submersible sump pump to be instaled and connected to her city sewer... [more]
-Maryizene
Sump Pump Cost
Disposals
Paid: 265.00
$265.00 is about the going rate for a badger 5 disposal in the Cincinnati area.... [more]
-Mark45236
Garbage Disposal Cost
timing belt, water pump and thermostat
Paid: 800.00
My car over heated and the thermostat needle was fully up. They replaced the water pump, thermostat, timing belt and other old hoses once they were inside the engine...plus an oil change. in my 1998 Pathfinder. All is well after that... [more]
-CBG
Replacing a Timing Belt Cost
Dentures
Paid: 6000.00
This will be my second set of dentures. I've learned there are different types for different budgets. My first pair were premium and lasted over 25 years... [more]
-MaggieMae 368
Dentures Cost
Gift of love
Paid: 300.00
I just made my son's wedding cake. It was 4 tiers, with a rough frosting exterior. The frosting was made with real butter and whipping cream. The cake layers were baked from scratch. It cost $300 for the ingredients and supplies... [more]
-Debobo
Wedding Cake Cost
Home visit, euthanasia & communal cremation
Paid: 300.00
Our experience was very similar to Sharlene's in Anaheim. Our lab (70 lbs.) was almost 15. He was given a sedative (shot) first. We had the convertible couch bed open in the living room... [more]
-Mary K Swift
Pet Euthanasia Cost