How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Columbia? 2024

It’s a tough decision to get a divorce, and the process is full of emotional struggles. How you and your spouse separate has a big effect on the cost of divorce. Separating with the help of a family law attorney can make divorce faster and less stressful, though it can also be expensive. Understanding what can make a divorce attorney cost more or less in Columbia, Maryland, can help determine what’s right for your divorce.

What Influences the Cost of Divorce?

The total average of divorce fees in Maryland is $11,000. This average cost includes attorney fees, court costs, and additional expert fees. Most divorce lawyers charge on an hourly basis. The longer a divorce takes, the more expensive it is. A divorce can last anywhere from three months to several years.

The hourly rate for a divorce lawyer in Maryland ranges from $200 to $300 or more. This rate depends on several factors, including:

  • Location: Lawyers who work out of a city or highly populated location have higher rates than those in towns with a lower cost of living.
  • Experience: The more experience an attorney has working in divorce and family law, the more expensive their rate will be. These attorneys are also likely to resolve your divorce more quickly and efficiently, which means you may not be charged for as many hours.
  • Complexity: The rate you’re charged will depend on your specific type of case and the specifics of your situation. An uncontested divorce won’t be billed the same as a divorce that goes to court and has several aggravating factors. Maryland divorces can be filed as no-fault or at-fault, which affects the cost of an attorney.
  • Services: Some divorces have several aspects, including child custody or even domestic violence charges. The more services a divorce requires, the higher the rate.

What Aspects Make a Divorce Case More Expensive?

An uncontested divorce is generally the least expensive form of divorce. This means that you and your spouse agree to get a divorce and are able to negotiate a separation agreement. There are still attorney mediation fees and filing fees, but the overall cost is much lower, and the process is faster.

Minor Children

If you and your partner have children together who are not old enough to live on their own, this makes divorce take longer. Visitation, custody, and support are all important decisions that must be made in a separation agreement. A longer divorce is more expensive.

Negotiation and Disputes

Disagreements make for a more expensive divorce. Disputes come up during the process of drafting a separation agreement over essential aspects like:

  • Property and debt division, especially in high-asset divorces
  • Alimony, or spousal support
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support

These are all very important issues, and many couples can’t come to an agreement. If this is the case, an attorney will need to begin the discovery process to gather the necessary financial information from documents and depositions. The more disputes you and your spouse have, the longer the process will take. These negotiations take time and money.


If negotiations fail, or divorce is contested from the beginning, your divorce case will enter trial. Trials are significantly more expensive and can take several years to finalize. Couples should do everything possible to resolve their issues outside of court through settlement negotiations.

At-Fault Divorces

In Maryland, you can file for a no-fault or an at-fault divorce. No-fault divorces are either filed based on mutual consent or after a year of separation.

A fault divorce provides grounds for the divorce and may include:

  • Infidelity
  • Desertion
  • Abuse
  • Cruelty
  • Incarceration for a felony

These divorces are usually contentious and require attorneys to prove or disprove the accusations that are given as grounds. At-fault divorces are often filed so that the accusing spouse can receive higher spousal support or a greater amount of assets. An attorney can help determine if this difference is worth the cost of filing for an at-fault divorce.

What Lowers Divorce Costs?

Working with an attorney makes filing for divorce less stressful and limits mistakes in the filing and negotiation processes. The aspects that make a less expensive divorce include:

  • A divorce is uncontested or no-fault.
  • Separation agreements are made where you and your spouse can agree on all aspects.
  • You and your spouse were married for a year or less.
  • There are no children or minor children involved.
  • You and your spouse share few or no assets, accounts, or leases.

It’s very rare that spouses agree completely on all aspects of a divorce.

FAQs About Maryland Divorce Laws

How Much Is a Divorce in Columbia, MD?

The filing fee for a divorce in Maryland is $165, and the average total of attorney and court fees for a divorce is $11,000. This amount depends on factors such as:

  • How long a divorce takes
  • How experienced your attorney is
  • Any aggravating factors that make a divorce more complicated

How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost?

The average cost of a family lawyer in Maryland is $305 an hour. If your divorce is contested or an at-fault divorce, it will likely have a higher rate. Divorce cases where there are intense negotiations, agreements that can’t be reached, or that enter trial are significantly more expensive because of how much longer they take to resolve.

What Should I Do Immediately After Divorce?

It’s important to ensure that all legal issues are taken care of and that you and your ex-spouse are following your divorce orders. After a big life change like a divorce, it’s useful to review beneficiaries for life insurance, estate plans, and other important accounts. You want to be sure you’re taking care of yourself and any children you may have.

Is Maryland a No-Fault State for Divorce?

Maryland allows couples to file for no-fault and at-fault divorces. At-fault divorces point to an external cause for divorce, such as infidelity, incarceration, or abuse. This external cause must be proven, or a spouse may attempt to disprove it. The divorce will take longer and be more expensive. A no-fault divorce can be filed under mutual consent or physical separation for a year. A mutual consent filing for absolute divorce will include a written separation agreement signed by both spouses.

The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA: Your Divorce Attorneys

A divorce is a difficult decision, but it is often essential to transitioning to a new stage of your life. At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, we want to guide you through this difficult time and provide you with effective legal support. Contact our firm today for assistance with your divorce.

Recent Posts



Anne Arundel County

Empire Towers
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Phone: 410-766-0113

Fax: 410-766-0270

Howard County On the grounds of Columbia Mall

30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Suite 900
Columbia, MD 21044

Phone: 410-964-0050

Baltimore County (Arbutus/Catonsville)

Phone: 410-719-7377

Fax: 410-766-0270