A lot is on your mind when contemplating divorce. Who will get the house? How will it affect the children? It is a very emotionally challenging event to endure.
There is also the practical side to worry about, such as how much it will cost. The average, according to The Street, is $15,000 per spouse. Your bill depends on numerous factors.
While you have the right to represent yourself, doing so may actually not save you money. Making a mistake can lead to delays and losing out on your full claim to assets. It is usually more cost-effective to utilize legal services, especially the more complex factors your case has (e.g., children, property, long marriage). You may also need to hire additional professionals, such as business valuators and tax advisers.
Litigation is the most familiar approach, but not the only option. You can choose alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation. Mediation entails you and your spouse meeting with a neutral third party who helps you two decide the terms of your divorce instead of letting a judge make the final decision. It saves time and money. You can use it for either every aspect of the divorce or just a few. The more you can agree on, the less expensive your divorce will likely be. Uncontested divorces are the least expensive.
Sometimes, litigation is the only effective way to end your marriage. Unfortunately, it will take longer due to having to schedule multiple court dates according to availability. This also means a higher bill in the end.
Regardless of the way you go about your divorce, you have to pay a filing fee of $50 and other court expenses, such as processing and copying fees. These can quickly add up. If you do not think you can afford them, you can apply for a fee waiver.
Long-term financial consequences
Although not a direct cost of the divorce process, child support and/or spousal support may be relevant to your situation. Divorce also tends to have an impact on your income, credit and overall financial health.