Getting a divorce is a very stressful experience. It is normal to worry about countless things, including how much this will cost you.
The big problem is that when you look online, you find contradictory information about how much a divorce costs. You can easily see amounts ranging between $4,000 and $20,000. Who can you trust?
The truth is that the only person that can tell you how much the divorce will cost you is your attorney. Even he/she might be a little off because of unexpected expenses that appear during the process.
The divorce is when you need to focus on self-care, not on activities that increase stress. Due to this, here are the most common factors that increase divorce costs without people expecting it.
The Basic Costs
The really basic divorce expenses are court and administration fees. These vary from one jurisdiction to the next. You need to pay an initial filing fee and then deal with other fees that are required as you file some extra documents.
Then, we have the obvious costs of hiring a lawyer. This can easily vary a lot from one professional to the next. Divorce attorneys will charge you either an hourly rate or a flat fee.
When you opt for the hourly option, costs can easily go high and many are tempted into thinking that the most expensive lawyers are the best, which is not necessarily the case. Always research the attorney and choose a very good one, based on your budget, to get the most out of the offered services.
There are many things you have to decide before the divorce is finalized, like child support, alimony, child custody, dividing assets, and so on. When the divorce is contested, costs can easily go through the roof.
When you have to deal with many issues and you and the spouse cannot agree on them, costs become higher. Both attorney and court fees quickly accumulate. Try to decide on as many issues as possible to reduce possible contentious costs.
There is always some property that has to be divided during a divorce. The way in which this happens depends on various factors. Generally speaking, all that you acquired during the marriage is marital property that has to be divided. If you cannot agree on how to divide everything, costs go up.
It should be mentioned that you will definitely lose some items and it is possible to end up faced with debt. That is another reason why you need to hire a highly experienced lawyer to protect you and your assets.
A divorce will impact the bank account but there are many other intangible costs that are rarely taken into account. For instance, your social life will instantly change. There is a good possibility that you and your spouse shared some friends. During a divorce, people tend to choose sides and you might end up losing some people that were important in your life. You cannot really put a price on such losses.