There’s a lot involved with getting divorced, and the second biggest question on people’s minds when it comes to divorce is “How much is divorce going to cost?” (The first question is usually about the children, if there are some.) The cost of a divorce will vary on a variety of factors, but in most cases, you can count on divorce to cost thousands of dollars before its finalized. If you want to have a general idea of the cost of divorce, here are the financial woes you need to take into consideration.
In most divorce cases, couples either hire divorce attorneys or they opt for mediation. Of the two, mediation is often the least expensive option, but you will still need to pay for it. Divorce attorneys vary in price too, so you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right decision when it comes to finding the right one to represent you.
Aside from the cost of attorneys or mediators, you’ll also have document and paperwork fees that will be filed with the courts. Some lawyers will roll this fee into their own expenses while others will make you pay for this cost separately. There’s no right or wrong way to go about paying for them, but it’s something you’ll want to keep in mind when determining your budget.
Once your divorce has been approved by the courts, you’ll also notice filing fees, which happen to make your divorce legal. Again, the way this cost works will depend on your lawyer, but it’s important to ask questions about this upfront so you’re not hit with a surprise bill when it’s all over.
In some instances, one parent will be required to pay child support and/or alimony to the other parent. The cost of this will depend on the state you live in and the number of children you have, but if you’re required to pay child support or alimony, you’ll need to factor this into your financial plan. After all, failing to pay child support can keep you from obtaining a passport or force you to serve jail time.
Division of Property
During your divorce, there will be a division of property between you and your ex. This again will be determined by the laws and the court systems in your state. In most cases, the courts decide what is considered a marital asset and what is considered pre-marriage individual property, and then the division of assets will fall into play after this has been determined.
Some married couples opt to sell their house and split the profit (or loss) of the house. In some cases, one person will buy the other person out of the house. There are plenty of options, but it’s important to know that housing will be an expense during the divorce. If you remain in the home, you’ll still need to cover the mortgage payments. If you move out, you’ll need to pay rent in another location. And if you decide to sell, you’ll have the cost of selling the home. Either way, it will be a big adjustment for you to consider.
When you were married, you had a shared income that allowed you to live a certain lifestyle. When you get divorced, this income is now cut in half, and each person will be forced to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate your new budget. This means you may need to make necessary changes, such as trading in a luxury vehicle for one that’s more affordable or quitting that prime gym membership.
Divorce will certainly make an impact on your finances, but if you can at least be semi-prepared for what to expect, you’ll at least be in a better situation.