While divorce can be viewed as married couples ending a marriage or calling it quits, it is a lot more than that. There are things to be settled and agreed on, with the cost depending on how you decide to settle the case, the state you live in, the level of conflict or cooperation between both parties, and how much your lawyer charged per hour.
The average cost of a divorce, according to reports, is around $15,000. This figure can still vary, as no two divorces are exactly alike. Some may have fewer issues to settle and can negotiate over a few meetings, while others can’t agree on anything and decide to settle everything in court. Going to trial, of course, is a lot more expensive than trying to resolve divorce issues on your own.
Divorce attorneys in Colorado Springs and other parts of CO share how your approach can affect the cost of the settlement:
Divorce court or litigation
If you and your partner cannot agree on any terms, you may have to bring the case to court and let a judge settle the issues for you. Do take note that this approach requires more time and money, as you will need to prepare for a trial and both of you need to have a lawyer to complete the required steps for divorce.
Lawyer fees vary depending on where you live, but you are likely to be billed per hour. This approach can be expensive, especially if there are many things that you and your soon-to-be ex disagree on or fight over. Trials can also take several months or more to be completed.
This is a good alternative to traditional courts, as divorce mediation costs less and can be completed in a short amount of time. This involves sitting down with a neutral third party called a mediator, who will facilitate the process in helping spouses reach a mutual agreement. Mediators may charge $100 to $300 per hour, but this will still depend on where you live.
The best part about this approach is that allows you to control the process and have the final say on important divorce matters. This can also be completed over a few or several sessions, depending on your and your spouse’s level of cooperation, as well as the number of issues to be settled.
This approach is the lowest cost option, as it doesn’t require any involvement or assistance from lawyers and other professionals. You and your spouse will be the ones carrying out all the steps, and you will only have to pay for court and filing fees. The overall cost for this may range from several hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the complexity of the case.
Representing yourselves may be an inexpensive way to get a divorce, but do take note is not for everyone. It may work if you and your spouse haven’t married long, don’t have valuable assets to divide, and have no kids. Just keep in mind, however, that DIY divorce is never advisable, as it could sometimes mean giving up your legal rights.
Do some extra research to learn more about the pros and cons of each approach. If there is a lot at stake, it is best not to use the lowest cost option, but instead, hire a lawyer to protect your rights.