How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce if Both Parties Agree?
In the movies, the archetypal divorce process is a grueling, contentious, money-hungry experience that leaves everyone involved broken and bruised. Fortunately, divorce doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, most divorces are settled outside of court. And it can be extremely cost-effective for divorcing couples if they are able to work together in a non-adversarial manner. If you and your spouse get along and already have a pretty good idea of what you want your life after divorce to look like, you may be able to file for an uncontested divorce, divorce through mediation, or use some other means to shorten the divorce process. Through any of these processes, you can bypass a clichéd court battle in favor of simpler, more straightforward legal procedures that allow you and your spouse more privacy and control.
If you are considering a divorce, and you and your spouse both agree about the central points of a marital dissolution, make sure you know how much your shortened divorce process will cost. For the full breakdown, read below:
Average Cost to Get a Divorce
The national average cost for a divorce is around $15,000 per person which includes court fees and attorney fees. The cost of your specific divorce will vary depending on many factors.
In any divorce, certain fees must be paid, regardless of the speed or complexity of your divorce. Couples must pay for:
- A petition filing fee
- The service of the divorce papers
- The petition response fee
- Other associated court fees.
If the divorce goes to trial, you will also be responsible for trial fees and motion filing fees or respondent fees. You will also have to pay your attorney and any other hired advisors.
Understanding the Cost of Divorce
Getting a divorce can be costly, in many ways.
- Emotional cost: The process can be stressful, and it may cost a substantial amount of time and effort on both sides. Plus, if you have children, the divorce might cause some emotional distress or feelings of frustration, confusion, or anger. There are several things you can do to ease these emotional “costs,” to be sure, but that doesn’t mean they won’t hurt.
- Living expenses: Dividing a marital estate while paying for two residences instead of one means you must also prepare for significant changes in your finances.
- Legal cost: Then there is the cost of the divorce itself, which will include your legal fees, court fees, and possibly fees from other professionals such as mediators, appraisers, realtors, movers, therapists, accountants, etc.
The cost of your divorce will depend on your situation, but the central idea is that the cost of your divorce will depend mostly on its duration and complexity.
What Makes a Divorce More Expensive?
- Complex finances or other issues: A more problematic, lengthy divorce will cost more in legal fees, court fees, and so on. Also, if you have a complex divorce, you may need much more legal help, including added resources, like financial advisors, which will add to the cost and duration of your divorce.
- More conflict and disagreements: Another major cost contributor is contention between the spouses. Spouses that can’t or won’t agree on issues often end up with longer, more costly divorces. And while some fights are worth the expense, many are not. For example, using a legal process to fight over a vehicle may cost you more than the car is worth.
If you and your spouse can calmly navigate the negotiation process and reach a settlement agreement quickly, you will likely avoid many of the costliest aspects of the divorce process.
If you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your divorce, you may also decide to file for an uncontested divorce, called a summary dissolution in Oregon, or file as co-petitioners. In these types of divorces, you prepare paperwork outlining your agreement and submit it to the Oregon family court, along with the necessary filing fees. The court will review the documents and decide whether to grant the divorce. You may prepare these documents yourself, but it is still highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an attorney—especially if your divorce involves children, real estate, significant assets or debt, retirement accounts, or other such complex issues. An attorney can identify potential and critical issues in your agreement that non-attorneys may not foresee.
Preparing for your upcoming divorce? Make sure you know what you’re expected to pay and find out how you and your spouse can use alternative divorce solutions to dissolve your marriage at a minimal cost. Solutions like Alternative Dispute Resolution and mediation can be extremely helpful for individuals who wish to avoid court, minimize costs, and seek privacy. To learn more about these options, get in touch with our attorneys at McKinley Irvin.
Ready to get started? Contact McKinley Irvin and discuss your case with our attorneys today.