Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Cost of getting a divorce


The cost of getting a divorce always varies from one couple to the next. The divorce agreement divides property and money. Each part of the property that goes to the other party can be measured as the ‘overall divorce cost’. Different types of costs are taken into consideration for completion of divorce.

Typical Costs

  • Lawyers charge hourly fees which is 75-400 US dollars, depending on the type of work done
  • Lawyers can take flat fees varying from 200 US dollars for filing a motion to 10,000-25,000 US dollars for handling all papers of a divorce
  • If you are paying an hourly rate to the lawyer, the total cost can be 20,000-50,000 US dollars. This can be increased in case of more complicated and highly emotional cases
  • One has to pay ‘retainer’ to appoint an attorney. It is normally a percentage of agreed-upon flat fees or the corresponding of several hours work. A lawyer on an hourly basis reduces that rate from the retainer as the work is done
  • A South Carolina lawyer charges a 750 dollar retainer for an uncontested divorce case with minimal work and a 5,000 dollar retainer for a contested case with complex issues such as child custody or distribution of property.

Additional Costs

  • Fees for investigators and other experts can add another 2,000-7,500 dollars or more, depending on certain conditions
  • Your lawyer can take additional charge for the time he/he spent answering your questions, and for staff time spent doing research or other work associated to your case
  • General court filing fees is 75-350 US dollars. A negotiation fee is 200-400 US dollars. This can vary by county and state, and are not included in the lawyer’s charges
  • Divorce process has a number of related costs, such as finding a new home, shifting, new service and telephone deposits, childcare, replacing things that were given to the spouse in the separation of property and more
  • When you have to decide child custody in court or during a custody battle, you may require paying fees related to psychiatric evaluations of the child. If the court appoints a guardian, you will have to pay that cost. Your lawyer may want to call a skilled witness which will be an added expense. In this way, custody battle means more intellectual work for your lawyer, so he/she will probably charge you more for that.

You can reduce the cost of divorce by keeping your paperwork organized and trying to work with your lawyer to keep the cost of divorce at a minimum. Lawyers can allow you to conduct the research that they normally charge for, so if you can obtain such information for them, then you can reduce the costs of your divorce.

In the end, you and your spouse are the one who decide the cost of divorce. So try to work together and settle all the major issues outside the courtroom.


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