How do I Estimate How Much my Divorce will Cost?

The costs of divorce are as varied as the cost of weddings.  Each situation is different and every couple has their own special needs or wants.  There are many things to consider when estimating how much your divorce will cost.

Lawyer Fees

Most lawyers charge by the hour, so the more you and your spouse can work out together the less you will have to pay an attorney.  If you can work out the details for your divorce without an attorney’s help, some lawyers charge a flat fee for looking over your paperwork and filing the necessary papers for you.  This flat fee is often much less expensive than an hourly rate and is something you can discuss during your appointment with a lawyer.


If you and your spouse cannot work together to make decisions, but do not want to pay attorneys to fight it out in court, mediation can be used and can save you thousands of dollars.  A mediator is an experienced family law attorney who has been trained in mediation.  The mediator will look at all of your information and offer suggestions to you.  Because the mediator is not a judge, you cannot be forced to agree to anything.  However, this is a neutral person who may see options that will work for you.

Another positive of mediation is that it is more flexible than a divorce court.  If your family has special needs that you want considered, mediation will usually give you more flexibility and still save you money.

Expert Advice

Another expense you need to consider when you estimate how much your divorce will cost is whether you will need to hire any experts, such as someone to help with taxes or financial planning.  You may also need to hire therapists for you or your children.  Make sure to take each of these into account when you are figuring the cost of your divorce.

Fees for Filing

If you are going to file the paperwork for your divorce yourself, you can call your local county clerk’s office to see how much it costs to file.  The cost varies greatly in different areas of the country and is also affected by what paperwork you need to file.  The clerk can help you with what all needs to be filed.

If you and your spouse plan to make decisions together on settlement amounts, division of property and plans for your children, your divorce will be much less expensive.  You may be able to have it completed for a few hundred dollars.  If you both are unwilling to compromise, your costs could be in the thousands.  Obviously, your best option is to try and work together one last time to save you both money.


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