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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700

What is the Cost of a Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Getting a divorce is difficult in many different ways. It changes the lives of everyone involved, causing stress, grief and a host of other negative emotions. In addition, divorce is also expensive. Court costs, lawyer fees and other expenses can add up quickly, making the situation even more trying for both parties. Below are some of the most common questions about the cost of divorce.

What costs are involved in divorce?

When you divorce your spouse, you may pay:

  • Attorney fees
  • Court costs
  • Mediation fees
  • Parent education expenses
  • Fees related to changing ownership of property (refinancing, title transfer, etc)

How much would it cost to get a divorce without a lawyer?

It may possible to purchase a divorce kit on the internet and represent yourself for under $100. In this case, you will also need to pay any costs not including in this amount, such as the cost of parenting education classes. However, unless your divorce case is extremely simple and you are on good terms with your spouse, choosing to represent yourself may not be the best decision.

How much would it cost to get a divorce with a lawyer?

According to NOLO, consumers report paying an average of $15,500 to complete a divorce, with approximately $12,800 of this amount going toward attorney fees. Among consumers who went to trial in order to resolve one or more issues, the average cost increased to $19,600, with approximately $15,800 covering attorney fees. Conversely, consumers who were able to settle everything outside of court paid an average cost of only $14,500, with $12,200 going toward attorney fees.

What are lawyer fees based on?

Lawyer fees can vary considerably according to a number of different factors. Some of the factors that affect the fees lawyers charge include:

  • Fee structure. - While some attorneys may charge a flat fee for completing a divorce, many charge by the hour. In addition, some attorneys use different fee structures for contested divorces and uncontested divorces.
  • Location. - Lawyers in some locations are more expensive than others. For example, lawyers in urban areas may charge more than those in rural areas.
  • Experience. - More experienced attorneys may have higher hourly rates than novice attorneys.

Your overall attorney fees will also depend on the complexity of your divorce and the amount of time your attorney spends working on the case. For example, if you and your spouse don't get along well and disagree on most or all issues, your divorce will require more time and effort on the part of the attorney. This translates to higher overall expenses. On the other hand, if you are able to reach agreements quickly and settle most issues out of court, your overall fees will be lower.

Do you need a lawyer to get a divorce?

In certain rare situations, you and your spouse may be able to divorce without hiring an attorney. However, unless you are on good terms, have no children and own little to no assets together, getting a divorce without the help of an attorney may not be in your best interest. If you choose to represent yourself in a complicated divorce case, you may lose more money than you would have paid for quality representation, especially if your spouse has a competent attorney.

What advantage is there to get a divorce either way?

There are advantages to both representing yourself and hiring an attorney. If you choose to represent yourself in a divorce, you won't spend as much money on attorney fees. If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on all of the issues associated with your case, you will be able to complete the divorce quickly and affordably. However, if you hire an attorney, you will have the benefit of the attorney's legal expertise to guide you throughout the process. If you and your spouse are not able to agree on all issues, the attorney will help you protect your interests.

If you are contemplating divorce, or if you or your spouse has already filed for divorce, contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. to find out how you may benefit from professional legal representation.

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