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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+
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.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Cost of divorce
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: James green in Templeton, CA.Posted: February 9th, 2022 04:02PM
Contested or Not: NotFirm: Bill scumbag
Advice. Before you ever breach the subject you need 2 years to get yourself ready to bring it up. If you own a home any property and have anything more than 10 grand and you make the mistake of bringing up divorce without getting your assets safely protected private to lose everything and potentially find yourself in handcuffs on your easy to jail for domestic violence because she will be getting sn attorney and she will be getting a restraining order SMS she will be pursuing charges for domestic abuse and battery on a spouse. Of course we'r know you've never laid a hand on her or Dugan raised your voice ever but nevertheless she will be making the allegations and in order to prevent any harm thr court will be taking ghe net safe than sorry attitude. Also be prepared to have your wife Deborah your bank accounts and mac out every credit card you own out of spite.. she will make sure you pay for every man that never did anything to a women.. ov yes. Prepare for the worst
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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
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