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Why Is Divorce So Expensive

How Is Annulment Different From Divorce

The Practical Divorce Lawyer # 230 – Why are divorces so expensive?

If marriage is a contract, the difference between an annulment and a divorce is not the same as the difference between declaring the contract null and canceling it. The Supreme Court has held that a marriage contract is not null and void if it is entered into in good faith and in the belief that the parties intended to enter into a valid marriage.

The Courts decision in Windsor, however, did not address the question of whether the marriage was valid. Instead, Windsor focused on the validity of the union itself, and the Court concluded that the union at issue in this case was not valid on its face.

In other words, in order to be valid under the Fourteenth Amendment, a union must be intended to exist only as a legal union between one man and one woman. See id. .

In the context of marriage, this means that if a couple enters into an agreement to marry, they must intend to live together as husband and wife for the rest of their lives.

The Average Cost Of Divorce: $12900

According to a survey conducted by legal website Nolo, the average total cost of divorce in 2019 was $12,900 while the median cost was $7,500.

However, there were substantial differences in divorce costs based on factors such as

  • whether child support or child custody were involved,
  • whether alimony was an issue, and
  • whether the divorce was settled outside of court or the couple went to trial.

The table below shows Nolo’s results for the average cost of a divorce under different circumstances:

Divorce circumstances
With no major contested issues $4,100
With disputes settled out of court $10,600
That goes to trial on at least one issue $20,379
That goes to trial on two or more issues $23,300

Divorces that go to trial are significantly more expensive due to the added legal fees involved. A dispute over alimony, or spousal support, also adds substantially to the price tag — even more than child-related disputes.

How Expensive Is Getting A Divorce

A friend tells another friend over coffee, Well its finally overFranks lawyer got the apartment and my lawyer got the two cars and the beach house!

Many of us wish that were actually funny. Isnt it interesting that the filing fee for divorce is less than one hundred dollars, and practically any Attorney can draft the required documents in a few short hours however, we know this is not the full picture, nor is it the norm. Ever. Weve all heard the horror stories. But do we have to accept the norm? No, if you are educated about the process and armed with information, You have Options.

OK, What Expenses Should I Expect?

What drives the cost of divorce through the roof is two things:

The Cost of Dividing Assets: The process of dividing marital assets is of course inescapablein a divorce, and

Cost of Dividing Assets:

Lets look first at the Cost of Dividing Assets: Aside from legal fees, and regardless of whether or not your divorce is contested, there are some costs youll have to accept as you move through the process. None of these are pretty:

Attorneys Fees:

You May Like: New York State Council On Divorce Mediation

How Long Can A Spouse Drag Out A Divorce

There is no deadline on divorce, so your spouse could delay the process for months and even years depending on the circumstances of your situation. However, you dont have to sit around while your spouse takes their time. With the help of a lawyer, you can request a court hearing to address these issues.

Lawyers Can Complicate The Divorce Process

ð¥ 25+ Best Memes About Divorce Meme

Lawyers often have a bad rap. There are plenty of jerk lawyers out there who ramp up cases just to get as many dollars as possible. Because of that stigma, consumers often fear them and what they might do to create conflict where there wasn’t any before.

Even lawyers with good intentions can be quite paternalistic, pushing their clients into what they think is best for them instead of really hearing their clients’ needs and goals. Some clients, for example, want to make concessions they would otherwise not make for the sake of keeping their relationship somewhat amicable. After all, co-parenting is a lifelong endeavor, and it would be easier on everybody to keep things with their ex as peaceful as possible.

Some lawyers let their egos get in the way of doing what’s best for the client. They may have a personality conflict with the other lawyer or feel triggered by a client’s relationship with their ex . They may connect to it personally because they’ve been through something similar, so they let their emotions take over instead of following their client’s lead.

This isn’t to say lawyers shouldn’t advocate for their clients, but they must do so after carefully considering strategy and their clients’ “need-to-haves” versus their “must-haves.”

Also Check: How To Talk Your Wife Out Of Divorce

Tips For Dating After Divorce

You should not feel guilty about meeting new people.

However, you probably dont feel comfortable in the dating scene, especially if you were married for a long time.

1. Give Yourself Time

Allow yourself time to heal from your divorce emotionally to ensure that you start your dating experience with a clear mindset.

2. Move Slowly

When you do start dating, take things slowly.

You dont want to overwhelm your date or your children by taking things too quickly.

3. Work On Yourself First

To make yourself desirable, focus on your own personal and professional self-improvement above dating.

You will continue to thrive, making yourself even more attractive to potential dates.

4. Avoid Repeat Mistakes

Some self-destructive habits become patterns.

If you tend to fall for dominating or neglectful partners, get professional help to break the pattern.

When you identify the red flags in the beginning, you can save yourself from a heartbreaking second mistake.

5. Respect Yourself

You dont need to be desperate.

Ensure that you demonstrate confidence and self-respect so that people dont think they can take advantage of your emotions in a vulnerable state.

Set standards and hold your dates up to those standards.

6. Manage Expectations

While its great to have standards, you also need to understand that everyone has baggage.

The dating pool is probably also a lot smaller than it was the last time you dated.

After you finalize the divorce, you may think that youre done for good.

Be Clear On Who Is Paying For What

Sometimes people assume their spouse will be footing the bill for all the attorneys fees, only to find out in the end that this may not the case. In trying to control costs, remember that the bigger the proverbial pie, the more money you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse will have to divide. Ultimately, that means more money for you.

Recommended Reading: Divorce Lawyer In Jacksonville Fl

Have You Run Out Of Money Paying Lawyers Or Are About To File For Divorce In Pa

Try divorce mediation.

What if you could avoid excessive legal costs- and still be able to work out a fair arrangement? You can choose divorce mediation to resolve your separation or divorce. But there is one catch, you and your spouse have to bothagree to do this.

Spouses are waking up and realizing the enormous savings by actually talking directly to each other, with the help of a divorce mediator, and other professionals like a parenting mediator, divorce coach, and/or therapist. They are recognizing that putting their family’s interests first does not mean they must endure a 2-4 year court battle, and absorb the sticker shock of $40,000 or more in counsel fees.

Chances are you can do it, too, but you have to be willing to do the work.

In as little as 3-6 months, through 1-4 sessions, you can have a marital settlement agreement, including a healthy parenting plan. The mess can finally be over, and you can begin your new life.

Divorce coaching or therapy can also save you thousands.

Before you start divorce mediation, be sure both of you agree that the marriage is over, and have begun healing. With proper emotional support, even a sticky divorce can be resolved in a matter of months – and at less than a fraction of the cost.

So before you file for a Pennsylvania divorce, consider these alternatives – you’ll save tens of thousands in legal fees, and youll be able to send your kids to college and retire comfortably.

Your children will be so proud of you.

The Grand Total For My Divorce $17625

DIVORCE & CHILD CUSTODY *FOR MEN* (Why are attorney’s so expensive?)

Ultimately, some of my financial decisions were uneducated and poorly made, and some of them I was forced to make to get divorced and into a healthier and safer environment more quickly.

Looking back, I would suggest that someone looking at filing for divorce speak with a financial counselor and make sure that their budget, disposable income, and potential roadblocks are all clearly discussed and considered before trying to move forward. It helps to lay everything out on the table and have that big-picture view of what debts are shared and what will need to be taken care of in a timely manner.

We were lucky in that we didn’t have kids or a shared bank account, so we didn’t have to consider how to split assets.

While I am now happy and healthy and on a secure financial path, starting out my 20s with such huge costs and taking on a large amount of debt on top of what I already owed in student loans set me up for a rough transition to young adulthood and set me back in terms of financial health and progress.

Recommended Reading: How Long Does An Uncontested Divorce Take In Kentucky

What If The Agreement Is Mutual

The more factors or issues are unresolved by the person filing for divorce and the other party, such as custody or care of children or maintenance of the property, or other shared assets such as investments, pensions, financial support, the more likely it is to cost the person filing for divorce. The more major issues resolved by both parties, the less it is likely to cost.

If you and your spouse agree on major issues, regardless of how many there are, you can file an uncontested divorce – the least expensive – which could cost you even under $500 if you write and file your divorce papers. All states charge their fees for filing for divorce, even an uncontested filing, so a precise cost isn’t predictable. Some states also will grant the filer a waiver on the filing fees based on income. For an uncontested divorce, if the state where you file has a mandatory waiting period, once that period is up the divorce decree is final. An uncontested divorce is the least expensive, and the most straightforward because no lawyers or mediators are needed to help both parties agree to the terms.

How Much Does A Mutual Consent Divorce Cost In Pennsylvania

Divorce by mutual consent will cost spouses around $300-400 in court fees and either $3,000-$6,000 in lawyers fees or $139 with an online service.

To file for this type of marriage dissolution, spouses have to:

  • State that they are willing to end their marriage and sign the respective papers.
  • Create a Settlement Agreement and write down their divorce-related decisions.

Spouses will not necessarily require legal representatives as with all the disputes settled, there will be no further arguments, and a judge will likely accept couples agreement if it is in best interests of all the parties involved.

Also Check: How Long Do Have To Be Married To Get Alimony

Lowering Divorce Costs With A Consulting Attorney

If you can’t afford to hire a full-scope divorce attorney, it could still be wise to seek out legal advice or help at some point along the wayespecially to make sure that your rights are protected in any settlement. You might be able to hire a consulting attorney for specific tasks, such as helping you understand and complete divorce forms, preparing for mediation, drafting or reviewing a proposed settlement agreement, or representing you in court appearances. In our survey, only one in 10 people said they had hired a consulting lawyer in their divorce. But they typically saved a lot of money on attorneys’ fees the average total fees for consulting attorneys were $4,600, and the median total was $3,000.

What Year Of Marriage Is Divorce Most Common

Why is divorce so expensive? T

While there are countless divorce studies with conflicting statistics, the data points to two periods during a marriage when divorces are most common: years 1 2 and years 5 8. Of those two high-risk periods, there are two years in particular that stand out as the most common years for divorce years 7 and 8.

Recommended Reading: Whats The Difference Between Divorce And Separation

Why Moving Out Is The Biggest Mistake In A Divorce

You Can Damage Your Child Custody Claim One of the most significant ways moving out can influence your divorce is when it comes to child custody. If you move out, it means you dont spend as much time with your kids. Not only can this harm your relationship, but it can also damage your custody claim.

Other Expenses For Divorce With A Lawyer

When you hire a full-scope attorney to handle your divorce, the lawyer’s fees will be your biggest expense. But there are other expenses as well. You’ll have to pay filing fees and other court costs . Also, depending on the circumstances in your divorce, you might have to pay fees for child custody evaluators, real estate appraisers, tax advisors, and other experts. The people in our survey who had had divorce lawyers reported paying an average of $1,480 for these other costs. The more typical median for these expenses was $500.

Recommended Reading: Alimony In The State Of Florida

How Much Does A No

The cost of no-fault divorce in PA will be around $12,000 if the case is contested, $4,000 with a lawyer in an uncontested case, or under $500 if spouses prepare their paperwork themselves or get it online.

A no-fault divorce means that spouses do not accuse each other of any misconduct, such as adultery, desertion, cruel treatment, or other, and just want their divorce to be finalized based on irretrievable breakdown.

If they have no disputes to settle, divorcees may work on their divorce forms without an attorney and significantly cut costs. By getting help with them online, spouses may also receive filing instructions and file their paperwork quickly and easily.

Tips For Living On A Single Income

Lawyer FAQ: Why are divorce lawyers so expensive ?

Make more money by committing yourself to your work.

Be the best employee you can be at your current job.

You can also spruce up your resume and apply for new positions available inside and outside of your company.

While you wait for the right opportunity, subsidize your income by taking on side gigs and working extra hours whenever you can.

Going green lowers your carbon footprint, and it saves you money.

Go green by switching to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.

You can also switch to an electric hybrid car or use public transportation.

3. Live Within Your Means

You need to live according to your current budget, with the understanding that you will have a lot of upcoming expenses thanks to the divorce.

If you cant afford your monthly bills with your current income, you may benefit from downsizing.

You no longer have the financial support of a spouse in hard times.

You need to plan for hard times in advance by setting up multiple savings accounts.

Also Check: Can You Get Alimony After Divorce

Divorce Rules #: Plan For A Divorce To Cost Some Money

FACE THE FACTS it is going to cost you money to divorce. Hopefully you saved for a rainy day, because right nowits raining. STRAIGHT UPyou paid good money to buy the gown, feed the guests and host the wedding and now you are going to have to pay get divorced. The big question is, How much of your hard earned money are you prepared to part with?

What will Divorce Cost Me? That depends entirely on you and your spouse. Want to punish your spouse for everything they have ever wronged you with? Knock your socks offjust know that you are going to pay LOTS of good money to do so.

Arrive at meetings unprepared, let your emotions run wild, fight over who gets the toaster, put your legal team on speed-dial and you are on the road to paying for someone elses summer home!

INSTEAD, do your homework, prepare yourself, control your emotions, mind your manners and you will fare much better. This is nothing more than common sense. So now I ask you the same question: Your divorce IS going to cost money, but how MUCH of your hard earned money are you prepared to part with?

How Common Is Divorce

In the United States, the rate of both marriages and divorces has declined in recent years. In 2008, for example, there were 17.9 new marriages per 1,000 women ages 15 and up, and 10.5 new divorces. By 2018, the number of new marriages had dropped to 16.6, and the number of new divorces had dropped sharply to 7.7 per 1,000 women, according to the Census Bureau.

Despite that drop in the rate, this still means hundreds of thousands of people per year end a marriage — 782,038 in 2018.

These divorces aren’t occurring evenly across the population, though. In fact, the divorce rate for adults ages 50 and up has close to doubled in recent years while the rate has fallen for other demographic groups, according to Pew Research. Divorces are also more common in repeat marriages, though reliable data is hard to come by.

Don’t Miss: What Happens After Divorce Papers Are Filed In Texas

Is It Possible To Get Legal Aid For Divorce

Most states have legal aid programs where you can get free or discounted legal services. If you cannot afford to pay divorce attorney fees and need help dissolving your marriage, find your local legal aid office to see what options are available. The American Bar Association has a directory of options for free legal aid.

If you are experiencing abusive or threatening behavior from your partner, you should not wait to take action due to cost concerns. You should call the police immediately and, in most cases, they can help you with requesting a domestic violence protection order at no cost to you.

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