The Costs of Divorce


You swore to stay together no matter what. Years after you realize it's just not working; so you think of getting a divorce. While you are contemplating about this, you might as well think about the costs of divorce before you make up your mind.

Many couples who are planning to live their separate lives fail to think about how much it will cost them to get a divorce. What most of them think is that this process is as easy as filing a case, appearing in court, signing papers, and voila! But the truth is this: the cost of divorce alone can impede married couples from dissolving their marriage.

The following are some of the costs that you must consider when getting a divorce.

Divorce Kits

You do not really have to hire a lawyer to get a divorce. That is if you and your spouse have no children and have nothing to argue on. A divorce kit, priced from $25 to $70, contains legal forms that you can fill out. Such forms include details about real estate, alimony, personal property, and name change. When the documents are filed in the court, an explanation for the filing is then made before a judge. When the judge signs the papers, the divorce then becomes final. Unfortunately, not all states in the U.S. accept the kit as valid.

Using a Lawyer

Couples hire a lawyer when the divorce is disputative. The lawyer will work to ensure that child support; alimony, assets, and other things are covered and handled fairly. Attorney's fee here is generally higher ranging from $100 to $450 an hour. However, when the couples have agreed on all the terms, the lawyer just works to be sure that all other issues are addressed. In such a case, legal fees are lower. So as a rule of thumb, the more emotional and complicated the divorce is, the more you have to pay for lawyers (i.e. the lawyers will spend more time on your case).

Other Fees

Other than the lawyer's fee, one has to also spend on court-related matters such as the initial filing fee and subpoenas. Court fees are also paid each day of the trial for the preparation of witness, discovery, and temporary orders.

In some cases, lawyers may also charge for travel expenses, phone calls, photocopying, and faxing. It is important to note that telephone conversations with your lawyer will be clocked and charged to you as well.

Long-Term Costs

The costs mentioned above are just for a short-term period. The real and long-term costs start when the divorce has been approved and when one has to start giving child and spousal support every month. Today it is more common than ever for women to be the primary breadwinner; this means that a woman can end up paying alimony and child support to a former spouse.  In some cases, especially for those who have an average income, divorce can also result in a drastic lifestyle change. That means that one has to also adjust with a reduced income because there will no longer be a spouse to share expenses. Additionally, one must consider that assets that were gained during the marriage (even though thought to be owned separately) could be subject to division by the courts.

Divorce never comes cheap. Thus, before you make up your mind on dissolving your marriage, think ahead of how much this will cost you. Other than the emotional struggles you have to face, the amount you will spend in getting a divorce is a serious matter.

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