Cost of Getting a Divorce

Many people go through a divorce in their life. For some it is very painful, while for others itís just another process after which they move on in their life. Divorce is said to be a death of marital relationship which is supposed to last for a life time. For whatever reason, some marriages do not work out. Divorce is a big business in US and the cost of getting a divorce is very high.

According to a website geared towards divorce and remarriage, divorce is a $28 billion a year industry with an average cost of about $20,000. If you are thinking of divorce, there are short-term and long-term costs which you should consider before legally saying bye to your spouse. Short-term costs mainly relate to paying a lawyer, if at all you decide to hire one. Long-term costs include financial lifestyle issues.

Do-it-Yourself Divorce Kits

There is no compulsion in the law to hire a lawyer. You are free to purchase a divorce kit if you think that you and your spouse can sensibly come to an agreement on who will get what. Itís ideal for the couple who has nothing to dispute and no children. The kits normally include legal forms that cover a variety of details such as real estate and personal property, alimony and name changes. You can file the finished documents with the court and appear before a judge to put forth your issues. The divorce is granted when the judge signs the documents.

This is the cheapest way of getting a divorce as the kits range from $25 to $70 and is valid in many states including Washington.

Getting a Lawyer

Most couples hire an attorney when a divorce is contentious to ensure that assets, alimony, child support and other aspects are handled equitably and fairly. If the divorce is uncontested, then itís a matter of the lawyer making sure that all issues have been addressed. The legal fees in an uncontested divorce are generally lower than a contested one.

The cost of getting a divorce in a contested way depends mainly on lawyers. Most lawyers charge an hourly rate such as anything ranging from $100 to $450 according to a divorce attorney of Columbia. According to a divorce website, some lawyers charge a little as $75 an hour.

Other Fees

There are other lawyer related fees that you have to keep in mind. There is cost for initial court filing, process serving, etc. If the case goes to trial, then there are daily court fees for witness preparation, temporary orders and discovery. Some lawyers also charge for photocopying of documents, faxing, travel expenses and phone calls.

Lifestyle Costs

The true cost of getting a divorce is much more than just paying off the lawyerís fees and court bills. Many a times, the bigger issue is dealing with a drastic reduction of income as your spouse is no longer helping you financially. It is a big challenge for some people as they might not be able to afford all the cost incurred on their own income.

Itís really difficult for many to adjust to the economic realities of life after marriage. Itís virtually impossible to maintain the same standard of living without the help of your partner.