You may want to know how much a divorce typically costs. There is no one answer, it depends. The cost can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Nationwide, the average cost for divorce is $15,000 to $30,000.


Nail down your goals.

Spend some time thinking about what issues need to be resolved in your case. Think about what is your worst case, best case, and happy medium for each issue. Here are possible issues in divorce:

Property and Debt Division

  • Mortgages
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Inheritances
  • Insurance Payments
  • Property
  • Student Loans
  • Family Businesses
  • Separate or premarital assets or debts

Decision Making

  • Differences in religion
  • Differences in education preferences
  • Differences in medical treatment options
  • Addiction issues
  • Domestic violence

Parenting Time

  • How old are the children?
  • What are the children’s preferences?
  • Consider where the children are going to school
  • Consider how close or far apart you will live
  • Consider your work schedules

Child Support

  • Determine all income
  • Child care costs
  • Non-joint children
  • Medical costs
  • Spousal support paid and received
  • Separate child support paid and received
  • Parenting time schedule

Spousal maintenance/alimony

  • Does one party rely on the other?
  • What will budget be?
  • Where will you live?

1. Gather your resources.
Resources are financial and emotional. Consider what it will cost to get what you want. Do a cost-benefit analysis for the best and worst case scenarios for each issue. One reason people spend so much money is that they use their divorce lawyer as a sounding board. While divorce attorneys do provide emotional support, you should not go to your attorney for advice and support on non-legal issues.  You are better off financially and emotionally to use a counselor in that role.

2. Get it in ship shape.
Don’t dump documents on your attorney. When you deliver documents to your attorney make sure they are complete, organized and easy to access. It is expensive to pay an attorney to organize your documents.

3. Use restraint in your communications.
Don’t call or email your attorney every time your spouse or ex does something you don’t like. Write down your questions and thoughts, and send an email once a week to your attorney with everything that is important to you, or schedule a meeting to go over your issues.

4. Remember your goals.
Don’t get caught up in the drama.  Keep your goals in mind and remember your happy medium.  Rarely people get everything they want so keep up the mental cost-benefit analysis as you move forward.


How do you pay for your divorce?  Often, one spouse has access or control of most of the assets making it difficult for the other spouse to access funds. Typically, people fund their divorce in one, or a combination of, these options:

1. Cash or reserve funds. If you have saving set aside, the easiest way to pay for an attorney is to use the savings.

2.Credit cards. Many people use credit cards. Most attorneys accept credit cards.

3. Borrowing money from your retirement account.  Some people take out money out of their retirement account. Be sure to do so before a complaint for divorce is filed, because once filed a temporary order will follow which will probably prohibit you from liquidating assets.

4. Borrowing money from family or friends.  Many families or friends provide financial assistance in the form of a gift or loan during a divorce. Be aware that if someone else pays for your case, they may want to be involved and control your case. You alone control your case regardless of who pays.