Understanding the High Cost of Divorce
Most people try to avoid divorce at all costs. After all, divorces are stressful and emotional. They are also very expensive. In fact, the average divorce costs around $15,000.
The divorce rate is decreasing, which is good news for Americans. In 2017, the rate was at 35%, down from the 50% that has been the divorce rate for many years.
Regardless, the cost of a divorce is on the mind of many couples, young and old. The average cost is about $15,000 per person. This price includes attorney fees, court filing costs, mediation fees, parent education classes, psychiatric evaluations, guardian ad litem fees and other costs.
It’s important to understand that the cost could be a lot higher. Given that not all divorces require all these fees, it could also be less. There are many factors that determine this.
Divorces vary on a case-by-case basis. No two situations are the same. Your location, whether or not there are children involved and the amount of property you have can all affect how much your divorce will cost. The lawyer you hire, how long the divorce takes and how much you intend to fight over the property will also affect the cost. A short-lived marriage with no kids and very few assets will cost much less than a high-asset divorce with kids and parents who cannot agree on anything.
What Each Element Costs
To break things down even further, here is what you can expect each item to cost:
- Court filing costs. A divorce is similar to filing a lawsuit. Filing the case with the court costs around $300.
- Lawyer fees. Lawyers typically charge by the hour, so the quicker you can get divorced, the less you’ll pay. Most cases settle outside of court in about nine months. If you’re going to duke it out in court, expect the process to take twice as long, at almost 18 months. Expect to pay at least a few thousand dollars.
- Mediation fees. If mediation works and you use it in place of an attorney, you can save money. A mediator charges $100 to $200 an hour, which is cheaper than a lawyer.
- Home refinance. If you own a marital home, one of you may want to stay in it after the divorce. This means you will need to refinance the home, which can be costly. There are so many elements involved, such as application fees, title search fees, home inspections, surveys and closing costs. Refinancing a home can cost several thousand dollars out of pocket.
- Other costs. Divorce comes with other expenses you might not have considered. You may be forced to attend counseling session, psychiatric evaluations and even parent education classes. Each of these can cost a few hundred dollars a pop.
Contact a Maryland Divorce Lawyer Today
A divorce can be a costly proposition. It could cost you $15,000, or you could spend a lot more or a lot less.
The good news is that there are options to keep the cost down. If you are willing to compromise and divorce amicably, a Columbia divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can give you options that will save you time, money and stress. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.