One of the most common questions that clients ask as they begin the divorce process is exactly how much a divorce costs. There is no single satisfactory answer to that question, however, because it depends on the couple’s unique circumstances.
The only fees required in a divorce are filing fees, but there are a number of other potential costs that can arise. The following will review some details about the factors that influence the cost of your divorce.
Factors That Influence Divorce Costs
There are several factors that end up shaping the cost of a divorce. These factors include:
- Attorney fees. The fees charged by divorce attorneys vary substantially. During an initial consultation, a lawyer should provide you with an estimate of how much his or her services will cost.
- What the divorce impacts. Divorce can touch on many areas of our lives including children, family-owned businesses, the likelihood of spousal support, and the extent of marital assets. The impact the divorce has on these matters influences the overall cost of the process.
- Whether experts are required. Some divorces require the aid of experts to make sense of complex issues. For example, experts are often used to value unique assets and can provide input about whether certain arrangements are in the best interests of any involved children. If your divorce requires an expert’s opinion, it will be more costly.
- Disparate income. It is common in divorces for one spouse to earn much more than the other. This often leads to the spouse who earns less facing uneasiness about how they will navigate life after the divorce. This disparity can also end up having an impact on the cost of a divorce.
- Litigation. In most cases, divorces that require the former couple to proceed to court increase the cost of ending the marriage. If it is at all possible to do so, you should consider alternatives to litigation. While you might win at trial, litigation is a destructive process that often results in additional penalties. One option is to pursue a collaborative divorce, which often requires minimal assistance from attorneys. One of the best places to begin in approaching a divorce in this manner is to make a list of all the things upon which you and your former spouse agree. After performing this step, many people realize that they agree with their former spouse on all of the major issues associated with ending a marriage.
Ways to Minimize Divorce Costs
There are several things that you can do to minimize the costs you pay in a divorce. Some helpful strategies include:
- Because most divorce lawyers charge by the hour, it is a good idea to communicate effectively with your divorce attorney and to make every conversation count.
- Be reasonable and realistic about how the divorce is likely to resolve. This way, if you encounter any obstacles, you can consider whether they are worth the time or effort. If they are not worth it, they should promptly be given up.
- Slightly related to the previous tip, create a list of what is worth fighting over and what is worth letting go. This can help put things into perspective.
Speak With an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Some divorces are costly and it is understandable that some people worry about the prices associated with ending a marriage. If you need the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney, contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today.