In the US, the average cost of a divorce is around $15,000. The good part is that you can manage the cost of the divorce just like a household budget. With that in mind, when you plan your divorce, if you know you have valuables to protect, you should think about those first, and then think about how to get away with spending the least for the actual separation process. You will probably need to spend money to save money when going through a divorce.
When going for the “cheap” divorce, think about the short-term and the long-term consequences. It will be worth every penny you pay when you’re negotiating the division of property, or the retirement benefits or even the issue of the spousal support.
The route you’re going to take when going through a divorce will have a big influence on the final price you’ll have to pay. Read below the four main ways of obtaining a divorce:
- Divorce Court: The divorce court is the best choice if you and your spouse can’t mediate your marriage or come to an agreement on problems like child custody, property division, or spousal support. This choice will be very expensive. You and your life partner will have to hire your own attorneys and experts to help you in court. You will have to pay the court fees and the filing fees. Your attorney will be paid by the hour and his fees will depend on the local prices. Some couples get lucky and find two attorneys that will want to work together to find the best solution. The unlucky ones will find adversarial attorneys that will drag out the divorce, which will lead to huge costs.
- Mediation: As two people get a divorce, mediation will be an effective alternative to court litigation. Couples are helped through the issues of the separation to find an agreeable settlement, by a mediator, that will be impartial. This is the best solution for the couples that want to take control of the outcome of their divorce, without attorneys or going to a divorce court. This process is voluntary. If you choose this solution, you will only have to pay for the mediator itself, the attorney review of the signed agreement, and the filing fees with the court.
- Do It Yourself/Pro Se Litigation: When you represent yourself in your own divorce, without the help of an attorney, it’s called Pro Se divorce litigation. The only thing that’s different, besides the fact that you won’t have an attorney to help you win, will be the fact that you will be responsible for filing and filling out all the necessary legal forms. Seeing that you’ll go to divorce court and represent yourself, the only costs associated with Pro Se litigation will be the filing fees.
- Collaborative Divorce: In a Collaborative Divorce there will be two attorneys, two Collaborative Coaches, a Divorce Financial Specialist, and if you have children a Child Specialist. The Collaborative Divorce will cost you less in the long run, although you’ll have to face higher prices during the actual divorce. You will have no court fees or filing fees associated with this process, but you will have to pay each specialist their own hourly rate.
Should the average working married couple get a divorce?
Separation should be the last resort. There are a lot of ways of dealing with your problems as a couple before reaching this extreme step. If resolving the problems yourself seems impossible, you should try a marriage counselor or a therapist. If children are involved, you should also think about them before going through a separation, as they will be the ones that suffer the most. If you tried everything but a divorce remains the only solution, then you should at least part your ways on good terms. Going through a civilized separation will not only be easier for you and your children but in the end, will also cost a lot less. The attorney and Divorce Court should be the last resort.